Testament of Youth (Movie 2014)

5 Kernels

Stars:  Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Taron Egerton

Let me be very clear.  This is NOT a happy movie.  If you are looking for an uplifting story, keep looking.  This is a movie about the reality of war.  It’s a deeply moving movie that frankly, if you have any heart at all, will rip your emotions to shreds.

Those of us who have not experienced the horrors or the loss of love ones in wars might come away unmoved or bored by this flick.  However, when I recently read this week that many young English citizens know very little about the World War I, it becomes a sad testament to today’s youth.  We should remind ourselves of the horrors of war as a deterrent, however, humanity has never taken the message seriously so frankly I think we’ve learned nothing.

Clearly the attitudes of the youths in the early 20th century compared to those in the 21st century are vastly different.  As they left for the fields of France or wherever they served, they certainly had no comprehension of what they would face in the trenches.  Seventeen million people perished in this war, and it’s not just the brave men who fought.  It’s a sad commentary that the best of youth died, as this movie dramatically shows.  What becomes of those who were left behind such as lovers, wives, mothers, fathers, and friends, is no less devastating as unbearable grief results.

I have distant English cousins who perished in the great war. One young man died in Turkey and the other in Belgium. Watching this movie brings to mind their sacrifice and the sorrow my ancestors must have felt when that terrible news arrived of their deaths.

Perhaps the movie itself is not the Oscar-type, but it is the reality type.  It’s well acted, though may be somewhat slow as the story progresses into the war.  If you don’t like to watch the horror of broken bodies, blood, death, and suffering, then you may find some scenes difficult.

If anything, this movie is indeed a testament of youth, loyalty, bravery, and a will to continue living so that the memory of those who died continues to live as well.

May we never forget.

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