Latest London news, sport & entertainment

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 11°C

Five-day forecast

FILM REVIEW: Private Peaceful

Geroge Mackay as Tommo and Jack O'Connell as Charlie in Private Peaceful. Picture: Matt Humphrey Geroge Mackay as Tommo and Jack O'Connell as Charlie in Private Peaceful. Picture: Matt Humphrey

Thursday, October 11, 2012
11:39 AM

A story of family, love and growing up, Private Peaceful is a touching yet harrowing watch.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Adapted from the book by Michael Morpurgo, the film follows Tommo Peaceful on one night as he looks back on his life.

The beginning of the film is ominous, starting as it does during the First World War with a sentence being handed down for disobeying orders given in the field.

That sense of dread stays with the audience through the rest of the film, even through happier scenes, and at times the constant misery gets a bit too much.

Young Tommo and Charlie Peaceful, played by child actors Samuel Bottomley and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, defend each other through thick and thin, have a good home life with their loving parents and older brother, and meet the girl of their dreams, Molly, when both are at school.

Their happy life is shattered when their father dies in a tragic accident, and both boys go to work for the Colonel, the richest man in the village they live in.

Richard Griffiths is amusing as the overblown Colonel, whose lazy behaviour and rants on responsibility provide a comic edge to tragic proceedings, but he disappears two thirds of the way through the film, as the plot dispenses with the need for his character, and it’s a loss that’s certainly felt.

As they grow older Tommo, played as a teenager by Geroge Mackay, finds himself falling more and more in love with Molly, who in turn is in a relationship with his brother, all against the backdrop of the fast-approaching First World War.

Heading off to the trenches, Tommo tries to find a place for himself as he grows into adulthood on the battlefield, surrounded by death and destruction wrought not just by the enemy, but by his own side in the shape of Sergeant Hanley.

John Lynch is formiddable as Sergeant Hanley, who has a personal vendetta against the Peaceful boys and whose viciousness is the catalyst to the final heartbreaking scenes of the film.

Watching him emerge from the smoke on the battlefield, crawling his way back to the trenches is spooky, and enough to put fear in the hearts of the bravest souls as the climax of the film approaches.

Private Peaceful is moving, from the scenes on the battlefield to the smaller moments of heartbreak at home, but does leave viewers feeling despondent. Have tissues on hand when watching.

Share this article

submit to reddit submit to Fark

Latest cinema & film release news and reviews

0 comments

LDN24 Promotions

Always wanted to create your own beer? Perfect Pint are giving you the chance.

WIN beer with Beer BingoTM

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

Read full story »

The Week subscription offer

The Week magazine special offer

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

Read full story »

Bird Box, the debut novel penned by Josh Malerman, frontman of Detroit based rock band The High Strung

DON’T OPEN YOUR EYES

London24 has teamed up with HarperCollins to offer a free Amazon Kindle taster of Bird Box, the debut novel penned by Josh Malerman, frontman of Detroit based rock band The High Strung.

Read full story »

Things to do