Darkest Hour shows us the other side (quite literally) to Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. In other words, what Winston Churchill was going through during that period, across the waters in the UK, fighting for what he believed in, as the story slowly builds up beautifully towards that famous speech he made in parliament on June 1940.
To be honest, historical/political war films that are really content-heavy, aren’t exactly my cup of tea. That being said, I’d still want to give these films a fair chance, so I try my best to focus as much I can throughout the two hours, in order to get the most out of this “educational film experience”. Even though it’s exhausting, and I end up not enjoying it as much, I’d still give it a shot.
So for example, I loved Dunkirk. But that’s because the film did not focus at all on the politics, negotiations and detailed government complications surrounding the events. In contrast, films similar to Darkest Hour, like Bridge of Spies, The Lives of Others or even A Most Wanted Man, they require a lot of effort from me to stay focused throughout the film because I have to pay very close attention to every conversation and every detail, so that I don’t get lost.
Hence, I can’t enjoy the film as much as I’d wanted to, and it’s not that the film is bad, it’s actually really good and I get it, but it’s just… so much work. So much that I wouldn’t wish to sit through it a second time. Of course, it might have been easier if the cinemas included English subtitles when they screened the movie, but that’s just wishful thinking on my part.
Surprisingly, Darkest Hour had a few humourous scenes inserted throughout, which I’m certainly grateful for, because it did help to lighten the mood. It is definitely a good movie and Gary Oldman acted really well as a cranky old man. I just wouldn’t be compelled to go watch this film a second time. If you’re a history buff this movie might actually be everything you’ve been searching for!