Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour is about the difficult decisions that Winston Churchill had to make which he faced within days of becoming the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Darkest Hour is the story based in 1940 during the early days of World War II when Hitler’s grip was tightening on Europe and the British Parliament was weighing its failed policy of appeasement.
There has been lot of movies based on the World War II and recently we saw Christopher Nolan’s Blockbuster ‘Dunkirk’ and Darkest Hour compliments it perfectly as this one gives you the look at the man who was behind the Great Britain war against the Nazis. It is not the first time where Joe Wright has displayed storytelling and technical flair to match his ability with actors. In the movie Atonement he wowed us with his skilful direction. With Darkest Hour, Joe Wright has made a crowd pleaser, straight forward and snappy movie which focuses on the new Prime Minister. The movie is not focussed on the war but it is mostly about the political aspect of the war.
Portraying the rousing and ferocious Winston Churchill is Gary Oldman, who is completely unrecognisable buried in the heavy prosthetic makeup which took some 200 hours. (A big Shout out to the makeup department of Darkest Hour, seriously. It’s shocking how natural it looks.) Not only the makeup but Oldman has managed to copy Churchill’s mannerism as well. Gary Oldman looks terrific as Churchill and just disappears in the role. His old fashion acting is what gives the movie its edge and separates it from the other movies. It is fascinating to watch Goldman playing Churchill. No doubt that we are hearing Oscar buzz for Gary Oldman.
The screenplay by Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything) covers the weeks between Churchill’s ascension to leadership in the wake of previous Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement policy of Hitler to Churchill’s celebrated “We shall fight!” speech in Parliament that roused the public to the imperatives of national defence against fascism. McCarten’s script writing is brilliant and efficient and the drama put in by Wright is unquestionable. Anthony McCarten has managed to accurately remember Churchill as a man in love with the sound of his own voice, and that quality alone has made Gary Oldman the perfect choice to play him.
All of Wright’s films are an intricate timepiece and Oldman is the machinery just under the timepiece’s face. Wright has the ability to get his actors match the story telling and technical flair and that is exactly what he has done in Darkest Hour.