Gary Oldman-starrer 'The Darkest Hour', a conspicuously made Winston Churchill biographical, is technically stupendous an achievement. As many critics have agreed, it'd be nice to watch it with 'Dunkirk' for a simultaneous pleasure. But then, despite being so beautifully made these films, and finely acted here by Oldman, it just remains a Dunkirk- well a thing to look at, but not essential viewing. I'd pick the Claire-Foy starrer "The Crown Season 1" and recommend it if you want to watch Oldman's Churchill in a better filmmaking-set piece.
It's a flawed film, but it's still worth a watch if only to look at the shining assault it'll do to your eyes, sprinkling nothing but simplistic narrative arcs here and there. But I'd suggest to skip it if you are a fan of period drama. It's more politics, even boring at times.
There's a scene in director Joe Wright's Darkest Hour where Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) travels by the tube and mingles with the citizens of his country. As he walks into the Underground, it feels like any other peculiar scene from the film, but then he finds himself inside a tube car with people around him, standing awestruck and in adoration and respect. I was sitting here in my chair with the same feeling as Oldman's Churchill begins talking while his team is discussing an important treaty in other part of the city. There is no doubt that Darkest Hour is an intelligent drama made with enough doses of humor, politics, and embellishments that usually make up a World War II film, but what works for it is the perfect coagulation of all the ingredients. Watching Darkest Hour is like drinking a gallon of water in the middle of a night. The pleasure that you derive from it - be it from Oldman's terrifically nuanced performance or Dario Marianelli's exhilarating score - will have at least a full-day effect on you. It is a 'slice of history' film made in a way to appease its audience, and I, for one, am thoroughly impressed. It's an energetic affair that will make you get up from your chair, rush to the street, and dance like you have just won a war. TN.