I had wanted to see this film for several years, and yesterday at Wal-Mart I found Passchendaele
as part of an 8-film World Wars set for five dollars. (It's called Combat
on the spine, and the front is Hitler's Britain
There were some things about Passchendaele
that were cheesy. (David and his girlfriend's sexual encounter, for one.) There were some things that were cliched. (Everyone finding each other near the climax.) There were some things that were underdeveloped. (I didn't really understand the recruiting major's animus, nor why he pursued Dunne all the way to Belgium.) And there were some things that I thought were very powerful and very moving. (I cried at several points in the film.)
Early on, there were things about the film that I thought felt like a Hallmark Hall of Fame
. (That's a good comparison, by the way.) And the final half hour, I think, compares favorably with the first half hour of Saving Private Ryan
I did not expect the ending. Okay, there was a part of me that, halfway through, thought the ending was going to happen, but once we got to Belgium I didn't think Paul Gross was actually going to go through with it.
Overall, I liked it. It could have used a little tightening in the Calgary scenes, and I'm not sure if it was necessary to have Sarah be as damaged as she was in those scenes (I'm being vague because of spoilers), especially as that plotline doesn't go anywhere. Still, it was a worthwhile film. It's gorgeously shot, there are no performances I can fault.
was well worth my five dollars.