REVIEW: The Forgotten Battle Shows A Different Side Of WWII
There have been many movies made on the subject of the second World War. Those movies
usually showcase the tragedy of war from many different perspectives. But The Forgotten Battle is one movie that provides a very different viewpoint of war. One where the winner is hard to determine, but the losses mount up. It’s a film that avoids the usual pitfalls or propaganda of the typical war movie, but ends up being a lot more. So here’s our spoiler-free review of The Forgotten Battle.
The Forgotten Battle Is Netflix’s Latest Trending Release
Set in a German-occupied Zeeland, The Forgotten Battle is a Dutch film that showcases a battle that was pivotal to the eventual end of World War II. The story takes place right after the Normandy landings where the Allies began to make inroads into German territory. Their efforts and slow progressions into reclaiming that area are what eventually led to the defeat of Germany and the end of the war. The Forgotten Battle features the stories of three different people in this small battle for access to a port that the Allies need to win.
While most war movies set certain expectations from audiences, The Forgotten Battle is different. Subtlety is not a word usually associated with war movies, but the sensibilities of the country of origin definitely seem to have an impact on that. While American movies focus on a sense of nationalism and duty, this Dutch film is very much focused on the bitter truths of it all. The Forgotten Battle is as subtle a war movie as we’ve ever seen, as it’s not boisterous in its morals nor does it preach its ideals in an obvious way. Even the action sequences go a step further to showcase the desperation and brutal anxiety of being in life and death situations.
It’s an honest, tragic, and quiet look at how the war affects people in all types of circumstances.
The Story Follows Three People And Their Collective Goal Of Freedom
The story begins in the town of Walcheren as German troops retreat due to the Allies making progress further away. Audiences meet Teun (Susan Radder), a young woman working in the Mayor’s office, whose father is a local doctor. The two remained to stay neutral during the German occupation, so the liberation of the town is a long-awaited welcome change for them. However, Teun’s young brother Dirk decides to take more of a stance and join the Dutch Resistance that opposes the German forces.
Teun’s story is all about how she has to protect her brother, while trying to navigate the complex situation, in the middle of a regime change. On the other hand, we get the story of a Dutch-born German soldier, Staveren (Gijs Blom), wounded in battle. After catching the eye of a superior while in recovery, Staveren is stationed at a desk job in the same city as Teun. Their paths cross as he struggles to reconcile his duty to the German army while feeling his loyalties change after witnessing the brutality of the Nazi regime.
And across the country, on the Allied side, there is the story of William (Jamie Flatter), a young entitled Allied pilot who wants to be part of the attack against German forces. After a crash landing maroons his unit, Will has to find his way back to the Allies from behind enemy lines. The Forgotten Battle tracks these stories and shows the brutality of war from all sides. It’s an honest, tragic, and quiet look at how the war affects people in all types of circumstances.
The Forgotten Battle Review Is Spoiler-Free
The war depicted in The Forgotten Battle is different from the ones we’re used to seeing in major mainstream films. The action is frantic and nuanced. It’s less style and more substance as the audience is put right in the viewpoint of each soldier. The framing of the camera in the majority of the sequences is set very close and tight on the actors. It’s less wide shots and more placing the audience in the thick of the action.
This technique definitely is in line with the tragic themes of war that the story depicts. The storytelling approach less glorifies the aspects of war that conventional films would, and more showcases the reality of it all. It’s easy to see why The Forgotten Battle is currently trending on Netflix, as it’s a different kind of war movie than what we’re used to getting. The story is engaging, rich in drama and tension, and has a great payout as all the stories converge on one another in the third act.
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