Top positive review
68 people found this helpful
Not to be underestimated
on 20 November 2002
For those of you that abhor sub-titled films, period, this is not for you. For those of you who are prepared to view a film in its entirety, this is one you might wish to view, and possibly add to your collection.
For me, Dark Blue World has to be one of the best and most poignant European films of the 21st Century. It is a film of many levels and yet, for me, addresses many issues. The film’s preamble text describes the efforts of Czechoslovak pilots who fought during the Battle of Britain in 1940 and beyond, only to be rewarded on their return to their homeland as political prisoners; individuals who, the state fears, would rise against the government in the new Eastern European communist Bloc order. The film regularly fast-forwards to the experiences of these men in the Czechoslovak “gulags” as a contrast to their earlier historical experiences during Word War II
Dark Blue World is, essentially, a story of two Czechoslovak pilots who flee their country under Nazi occupation, to fight with the Royal Air force during the summer of 1940. The theme of the story is their love for one woman; an individual kind and caring enough to take on a plethora of children evacuated from London during the blitz. The counterpoint to the film, however, is extremely moving. Despite these men being qualified pilots, English xenophobia portrays the discrimination they felt in proving that they too were worthy opponents of the Luftwaffe in the cockpit of a Spitfire.
The aerial combat scenes are truly breathtaking; despite, as I understand from previous pre-release reviews, these scenes being taken from unshown footage from the film “The Battle of Britain”, the scenes are mixed with contemporary footage that gives a true and unprecedented account of the horrors faced by fighter pilots during this conflict. I found the drama of war and conflict in this film on par with, if not more moving, than that of Saving Private Ryan.
Despite their love for the same woman, the central characters go through an extraordinary experience that demonstrates their camaraderie over selfish gains. The ending part to this film is truly unexpected and moving.
Dark Blue world is, essentially a romance, moulded on a Hollywood tried-and-tested theme yet made by European talent that is intent on portraying a much more subtler message. I watched this film just before the Remembrance Ceremony on 10 Nov 2002 and I was left compelled to remember not only British personnel that fell in the Second World War but the countless number of brave personnel not only from Czechoslovakia but France, Poland, Belgium and all the people from occupied territories who so determinedly came to Britain to carry on the fight.
The portrayal of humour, human emotion and horror of this film should not be dismissed on the basis that it is non-US or non-UK made. It is a milestone film for the simple fact that, through a story narrative, it tries to focus on events that are over sixty years old. I would recommend anyone to view this film and make his or her own decisions. For me, this I a film worthy of any collection.