Remembrance Sunday is a day we should never forget as so many gave their lives so that we could enjoy peace. Since 1815 approximately 1,345,846 British soldiers have died in war and that’s where there are records, so it is more likely to be higher than that. To put that figure into perspective it would mean the whole population of Trinidad and Tobago being wiped off the face of the earth. Just think that is just one nations casualties over nearly 200 years, so what if we added all the casualties of war? How many nations would no longer exist? Think of the generations that could have been around now had the young not been taken away from us. In WW1 250,000 of the soldiers that the British took to fight were under the age of 19. what were you worrying about at this age? Your exams? Girlfriends and boyfriends? Finding work? These guys didn’t know whether they would be around the next day. These men if they survived would have no doubt suffered from the sights that they saw, possibly for the rest of their lives? Some were so anxious to defend their country that they lied about their age. John Cordon went to war in WW1 at the age of 14 and sadly never came home. He was the youngest soldier and should have had his whole life in front of him. We need to remember the men and women who had the courage to live and fight through the wars and be thankful that we have not had to do the same.
I was at the memorial on November 11th in Ashford and the words “They gave their today for our tomorrow” really stood out for me and It is so true and this is why it is so important to remember those that gave their lives during the wars.
The reason I am writing about this is because I saw the film Fury at the cinema which is based on the second world war in Germany. The film follows a group of men, American men who take their courage, skills, fear, love and Brutality into the cold steel of a tank. They have seen some horrific sights and done the most heinous of things as war grips every inch of their body and soul. They are not all likeable, whether the war has changed them we do not find out, but some are particularly cut throat and they are not the most gentlemenly when it comes to the ladies. It is kill or be killed which has been a hard lesson as war has progressed. A member of their team has died and he is replaced by a young boy who has no idea about war and is terrified about what is to come for him. To kill another person is wrong and it takes a long while for him to come to terms with war and realise that his actions could get himself and others killed.
Brad Pitt plays Don Collier who is in charge of the crew and he has kept them alive up til now and he demands and deserves the upmost respect. He doesn’t take fools gladly and nothing will stand in the way of him and his tank and no circumstances does anyone put the teams life at risk. The new recruit soon learns this, but Don is fair and a respect grows between the man and boy. Logan Lerman plays the boy and he truly looks terrified as he goes from holding a pen as a desk clerk to holding the machine guns of a metal monster as they shoot their way through the German towns. Shia Labeouf is another member of the crew who is far less cutthroat and brutal than the rest. I wonder how Shia stayed in character for this as his eccentric ways have got him in a lot of trouble lately? Michael Pena seems to be in so many films at present and here he plays the ladies man although the women do not always have a choice as no doubt his lust builds through war. John Bernthal is a real nasty piece of work and has moments that make you feel sick, you earn his respect and it is not easily done as the young boy finds out. The green eyed monster soon shows it face as his character is jealous of the new boys friendship with the boss.
The performances of all those involved are brilliant, particularly Lermans and Beruthal as two enemies within the tank who soon find a respect although possibly not an understanding between eachother. It is good to see that all the characters are not all dashing heroes as no doubt war ravages away at their morals and changes them. The story is a pretty simple one which means that there is not much depth to it. You never really learn much about their characters, which lets the film down a tad. This is no Saving Priavte Ryan although the action and the uncomfortable scenes between American and German really put you on edge. You see the mixture of brutality and humanity around the table and the beginnings of a love that never see’s the end of gunpowder and artillery. Overall this is a good film, but I cant see it being up there with the great war films and I think a better story was needed rather than just looking at a snapshot of the soldiers lives. Even though it was over 2 hours long, it felt rushed and much more could have been revealed.