Forbidden Ground, with Johan Earl, Tim Pocock, Martin Copping, Denai Gracie & Sarah Mawbey. Directors, Johan Earl & Adrian Powers. Though quite burnt out on any drama concerning the Second World War, the WWI always seems to fascinate this reviewer. Perhaps, because it’s further away & surviving combatants few & far between. This film doesn’t hold back in its depiction of a battle between British & German forces on the Western Front. However; the gore is mandatory & not so vivid as one might imagine.
Earl surpasses adequacy, in his depiction of a sergeant leading his men to their doom, in this most brutish of wars. He emotes a longing for the man he was before experiencing hell on earth & for the wife left behind, awaiting his return. Though a bit stiff & overindulgent with angst; he, nevertheless, does manage to anchor the film around him. He also directs. So, it’s all about him. He is the star that the planets orbit.
An Australian film, which relies heavily on stock footage to set the stage & then CGI & a dark set to top everything off. I enjoyed it, as the cast funneled attention to them – & not the nearly-lame fireworks. Their ability to tell a story about a moment in time & show that irony & consequence are part of history as they are of our modern world; made this venture a success.
I recommend this movie for viewing. They make fine films in Australia. Bravo.