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[personal profile] vanessarama
In news that has nothing to do with anything else going on in my life, I had the privilege of seeing 'Testament of Youth' yesterday.

Alicia Vikander was STUNNING. She totally made that film. Even better, she made Vera Brittain into someone relatable and understandable, whereas I didn't really like the Vera I met in the book. Alicia is so good that there isn't a moment where you spot her acting, if you know what I mean. The supporting cast were also superb. In fact the film's weak point, I think, was Kit Harington. He played a very good pretty young poet, but he didn't at all convey the charisma and the natural leadership which the real Roland must have had. He seems to have been almost worshipped by his friends, but that didn't really come across.

Some things were exaggerated for dramatic effect, but they didn't really detract that much - in fact I think most of the poetic license taken was quite acceptable because it helped get across the point they were trying to make. I know it wasn't entirely true to the bare facts of Vera's story but I think we mustn't forget either that Vera herself intended her story not just as a lament, or a memory of four young men she loved who were lost, but as testimony to the futility and utter waste of war. If a bit of dramatic exaggeration helps bring that home, it does its purpose. And I must say, it did.

Colin was, naturally, wonderful and lovely. He didn't have too many scenes but he made the most of what he had, especially managing to get across the mixed resignation and bitterness of Victor's wounding and the prospects of life blinded. Also, he was briefly topless and he has some damn fine muscles in his back :)

The film really did manage to convey the sadness and waste of war. We were in a theatre full of nattery people but you could have heard a pin drop during practically the entire film. It was a good job.


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