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Midlands Review of Tommy

By midlandsmovies, Apr 16 2020 07:25AM


Directed by Liam Driscoll


Cinectar Studios

Tommy is a new World War 2 drama from Midlands director Liam Driscoll that looks at one of the most important days in the conflict.

We open on 6th June 1944 D-Day and a brief title explains how after the successful Normandy beach landing, many paratroopers found themselves alone in enemy territory after bad weather hindered their drop.

To the sound of gunfire, we open on a soldier (Jack Kemp) awaking on the ground and looking up to see his parachute stuck in a tree. Not only that, the man is also tending to a bloodied and wounded leg.

Struggling to stand in his forest surroundings, he eventually stumbles across a farmer and passes out, only to come round in the stranger’s lodgings.

The film is shot naturalistically, handheld at times but luckily not like shaky mobile phone footage. Its influence seems to be Saving Private Ryan’s middle section with a dash of David Ayer’s Fury (2014) thrown in and the shots are suitably cinematic. Aerial shots in expansive wheat fields give a fantastic sense of scale as the soldier appears tiny against a large canvas of countryside.

A slightly questionable French accent from the farmer almost hinders the illusion but he’s portrayed sensitively by a committed Duncan Hess. And I’m not sure if it was the wardrobe or props, but at times the film seemed more “modern” than the 1940s – certainly within the farmhouse location.

Moving on however, the dramatic tension increases as farmer tells our soldier about his son before the arrival of Germans means he hides the British soldier away.

A violent confrontation ensues, and the film takes a sympathetic look at men from different countries helping each other out during a terrible era of battle.

Tommy’s highlights outweigh its anachronistic flaws and the short finishes with an open-end of sorts as another British soldier arrives on the scene who we hope doesn’t misjudge the bloody scene he arrives to witness.

In conclusion, Liam Driscoll has used the Midlands well as a location to recreate a brief, serious drama about the tragedies of war. Tommy shows the sacrifices many gave from all countries with a hint that there’s more to tell in the ambiguous fight of warfare.

Michael Sales

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