Adapted from Warhorse author Michael Morpurgo’s 2003 novel, Private Peaceful is a classic rite of passage story that details the gritty rural lives, loves and pains of brothers Tommo (George Mackay) and Charlie (Jack O’Connell), and their poor Devon family, from 1909 ‘til 1916. When they join the forces of Lord Kitchener’s army the pair leave behind the idyllic beauty of their rural home, along with the beautiful Molly (Alexandra Roach), and travel to the muddy fields of Flanders, where sunshine and good ale is replaced by gas attacks, shelling and the advancing German army. The brothers cling to one another, desperately trying to survive the terrors around them, but they cannot escape the tyrannical hand of the British military, and the harsh price of cowardice.
SHOULD YOU SEE IT?
With an all-star cast including Richard Griffiths, Maxine Peake and Frances De La Tour, Private Peaceful impresses, at least on paper, from the very beginning. The trailer portrays the movie as one that shows the unshakeable bond of brotherhood, the strength with which it survives no matter what, and one unafraid to capture the true horror of the Great War.
Warhorse was, in a word, gut wrenching. Beautiful, but horrifying at the same time, it showed another side to war, and with Private Peaceful Morpurgo has done something very similar. The trailer alone is shocking.
Private Peaceful slipped our notice. Had we not been scouring for film content we might have missed it completely, and that would have been a tragedy. Though it doesn’t have the might of Steven Spielberg at its helm like Warhorse it’s sure to be a movie that sickens, and brings tears to the eyes of even the stoniest men. A masterpiece? We hope so.