movie film review | chris tookey

Officers' Ward/ La Chambre Des Officiers

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  Officers' Ward/ La Chambre Des Officiers Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
8.17 /10
Eric Caravaca , Andre Dussolier, Gr?gori D?rang?re
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Directed by: François Dupeyron
Written by: Fran?ois Dupeyron, from the novel by Marc Dugain

Released: 2001
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: France
Colour: C
Length: 131

Early in World War I, a German shell explodes in the face of a French officer . The story tells of his five years’ recovery from horrific facial injuries.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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For the first quarter of this film, we don’t actually see these facial injuries. Instead, we feel as if we’re inside the head of the young officer. A tour de force of point-of-view cinematography, this, and a valuable corrective to the gung-ho idiocies of so many war movies. The film suffers, after the removal of the bandages, from an over-leisurely pace, and some fairly routine plotting that brings back memories of rather too many other films, including the British film Regeneration and the Spanish film Open Your Eyes (which was remade, poorly, as Vanilla Sky).

This is not easy viewing. Some will find it dull, and complain that it tells them nothing they didn’t already know, when really it confronts people with a good many things they would rather not think about. On the whole, the powerful performances, imaginative direction and a transparently sincere optimism about the strtength of the human spirit make for an experience that is well worth having, and will remain with you.

"The story of a destroyed man who finds within himself the strength to live. It relates to the rebirth of this man and is a magnificent tale of love. The war is just the background. It could just as easily be the story of a man recovering from an accident, a modern story. The novel also contained the material to make a significant film on war without ever falling into the trap of violence or showing any fighting."

(Francois Dupeyron)

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