Winston Churchill is a name we all know from history class. He was the Prime Minister of England during World War II and his thoughts and words of wisdom changed the outcome of the war. While history books focus on his political triumphs and quotable speeches, the movie The Darkest Hour focuses on his daily life. The movie offers a bit of humor and realism to Churchill, portraying him as a Scotch-drinking old man who likes things a certain way. However, it acknowledges that the country of England and all the English troops rested on his shoulders.
Stressful is an understatement for his situation and this movie. If you are familiar with the history of World War II, then this film brings the Parliamentary side of it to life. It shows in detail the debates and speeches made in British Parliament and shines a whole new light on the situation that history books don’t always show. The Darkest Hour portrays that his decisions are influenced by his new assistant – a girl in her young twenties with a brother fighting in the war. While there isn’t any historical evidence that she was based on a real character, she brings a realistic and emotional perspective to the situation while Parliament is focusing purely on budgets and numbers rather than the emotional repercussions of their decisions.
Personally, I love this time period in history, and Churchill is practically deified in my household. My dad, growing up in Europe, knows all about him and shares his wisdom. I enjoyed the historical aspect of the film, but with all the stress building situations, it can move slowly at some points. The Darkest Hour is definitely different from the other fast-paced action movies about World War II; it is more thoughtful. It allows the audience to see how difficult the decisions made by Parliament caused the battles we hear about in history class and see in other World War II movies. No part of the war was easy. As with any historical movies, there are inaccuracies, however the movie is very well done. Overall, I would highly recommend The Darkest Hour, if only to obtain a different view of World War II.