Young Winston is a British film from 1972. It is about the early life of the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. In fact, the film has been based on My Early Life: A Roving Commission, a book by the Prime Minister himself (Foreman)…
Young Winston starts with Churchill’s schooldays. Those days are not ideal for the boy and he is not happy. The film unfolds a number of events and eventually the death of his father. Here ends the first part of the film. In the second part Churchill is a cavalry office in India and Sudan. During his service period he participates in the cavalry charge at Omdurman. The film goes on to show us his experiences as a war correspondent in the Second Boer War. In this war Churchill was taken prisoner but he managed to escape. Later on he is elected to the Parliament at an early age of 26. The film jumps from one period to another; it seems that the director was trying to avoid monotony and make his film different from the usual lumbering films. He has used flashbacks and narrations throughout the film to make it interesting. However, at times these get confusing. In the beginning of the film Winston has been shown to be a hopeless depressive. His childhood was not happy, and although he lived in a palace and belonged to a well off family, his parents did not give him the time that a young child requires. Winston’s father was an excellent man in the intellectual sense. But he was complex as well and he could not become a good father or husband. He called Winston his “biggest disappointment”. ...
But this was no surprise – the kind of childhood that he had gotten was expected to have some sort of effect upon the poor boy, and this is what happened. Later on Winston’s father dies after which it seemed that Winston decided to get himself together and stand up for himself. He becomes a soldier following which he starts writing and then gets interested in politics. He created himself and then maintained too. The movie is a great watch. It is an absolutely correct depiction of Winston Churchill’s life. William Manchester’s views regarding the film say that he finds it “sterile and devoid of conflict”. In the film’s defence it can be said that it was only portraying the real life of Winston, and could not have added anything that did not fit the description. The film makers could not have changed the facts just for some suspense and excitement. That is not to say that the film is not exciting. Several parts of the film do get exciting, not to mention dignified. However, Manchester is right in his view that it “But [...] one had hoped for more”. The movie could have been even better. When starting a film about the life of a great leader who has done a lot for your country, one automatically expects it to be grand and full of excitement. This film, however, did not exactly give us the human being who is after the facade. Although the film portrayed Winston’s life accurately, it was very much clear that the person we are watching is far from Churchill himself. The film created his image but did not allow us to glance at the personality properly. Young Winston was not able to capture the attention of the audience completely. There are times in the movie when it makes you wonder ...
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