Film – Darkest Hour

Film – Darkest Hour

If like me, you are fed up of a lifetime’s worth of adulation for Churchill, a little bit of the other side of the story gets told here. I’ve long-maintained he was the wrong man at the right time as our wartime prime minister and Darkest Hour shows his first month is power. Everybody is loved by someone, even a rude, cantankerous, contemptible man who immediately unfolds on the screen has an adoring wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) and children.

A heavy drinking, chain-smoking, brute who mumbles dictation to his new young secretary from his bed cannot make a future leader, can he? Did this really happen?

In any case, at least when he took the Prime Minister job that no one else seemed to want he occasionally gets dressed. Some may call this behaviour eccentric, I still maintain it’s arrogant. Even the King doesn’t like him for his previous catastrophic decisions and only reluctantly calls upon him to form a government while not looking forward to their weekly lunches; ‘I can’t do 4pm, that’s when I take a nap.’

As you can tell, the film is based after the war has started and the opposition force the present PM to step down due to lack of confidence in him after his negotiations for peace resulted in Germany still invading Poland. This whole shouting thing to force someone to resign, why can’t we have this today? I was quite taken aback by the racket in parliament as I thought that was relatively new behaviour.

In any case, I can’t believe for a minute Churchill would have gone out to ‘ask the people’ their thoughts as the King suggests especially as he was absolute on the idea that Hitler won’t negotiate and fighting is the only way. I especially don’t believe he would casually shake the hand of a black bystander without making comment on his colour in 1940s London. Prince Phillip can’t even do that in 2018.

No doubt people who are fans of Churchill and will go and see this and still think he’s a hero. The cigar that permanently hangs in his mouth should perhaps get it’s own Oscar nomination. Churchill was right about Hitler, but at least we get to see a truer version of the person who thought India could not govern itself.

Sadly I couldn’t find a still of Churchill in his dressing gown lying on his bed barking orders to his secretary.

6/10

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