Churchillian Bluster in Britain’s Darkest Hour, The Free World’s Saviour


Churchillian Bluster in Britain’s Darkest Hour, The Free World’s Saviour

Had Hitler triumphed, perhaps half of the world would now be speaking German. His megalomania was trumped by a man equally flawed but perhaps thankfully, on the opposite side of the political spectrum. AWANI Review’s Zakiah Koya sat through Gary Oldman’s portrayal of the wartime leader in the film Darkest Hour which won him the award of Best Actor at the 2018 Oscars.

In the darkest hour, the best thing that a true leader can do is to feel the nation's heartbeat and the only way to do that is to mingle with the commoners on the street, for that is the voice of the nation. 

One of the greatest politicians of all times did very this - by taking the underground subway and listening to the common man and woman, in his effort not to fail his duty to the people. 

This was perhaps the greatest message that the movie "Darkest Hour" was trying to send when the much non-supported British Prime Minister Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill had to make the right decision that may or may not mean the annihilation of the entire British Army in World War II.

The movie replays the history of how at an old age, a sputtering, alcoholic but with the sharpest tongue and a political wit that is incomparable, Churchill was brought back into active politics as the PM in 1940 to unite the British cabinet as the country faced the possible defeat at the hands of Germany's dictator Adolf Hitler.

Played by Gary Oldman, the portrayal of Churchill with amazing makeup effects was uncanny, although the supporting actors withered somewhat in their acting skills next to him. 

Despite that, the strong storytelling, script and great cinematography keep viewers glued to the end to find out what is the end of them all. 

This was the main question playing on Churchill, as he kept asking his war cabinet, what is the end of us all? Is it to fight until they choke in their own blood on the ground, or surrender and stay safe behind the flag of the swastika as the puppet of Hitler?

With a big group in his own Conservative Party and the opposition insisting on letting Italy's Mussolini to mediate peace between Germany and the allied forces to end the WWII, Churchill in the movie was seen rising past his unpopular strategies.

Initially, one would think that Churchill was merely pushing the British and allied troops to get his own back against those against it, but one comes to realise the politics and strategy behind it all as the movie unfolds.

This movie talks about great leadership which can be emulated by all politicians who are yearning to be elected representatives

Although the scene of him disappearing on the streets and taking the underground subway was admittedly dramatised by the scriptwriter, this was perhaps the most moving scene. 

It is however, a known fact that Churchill did go AWOL now and then, and suddenly be seen elsewhere in public during his tenures.

In this movie, his famous outbursts and wicked sense of humour were cleverly weaved into the script, although the small personalised moments of Churchill's wife, family and secretary, were quite a bore.

The aerial shots of the war taking place is definitely a big-screen watch while the grandeur of the old British Parliament is breath-taking. 

No matter how one looks at it, with the looming Malaysian general elections, this movie talks about great leadership which can be emulated by all politicians who are yearning to be elected representatives. 

The war room arguments and the parliament scenes were the best scripted, what with much decorum and respect for one another.

The finale is something that must be watched, if only to hear Churchill's speech bring the House of Lords and the King himself to a rousing yes - even those against him had to agree with him - to fight on for the sake of the country and the crown. 

Somewhat lacklustre in acting skills, this movie is a must watch for those interested in the behaviour of politicians.