Testament of Youth – Victor Richardson
This is not the role that will bring great attention to Colin’s talent in the US. The camera does not linger on him, much as we wish it would. This film is Alicia Vikander’s. The camera is all hers … and, after all, it is Vera’s story.
This the story of Vera Brittain’s journey to become a Pacifist. From everyone’s giddy, romantic approach to ‘going to war to defeat the Hun’, to the heartbreak and inhumanity of the reality. Relationships are not strongly developed, yet to be fair, there are only two hours to cover a very large part of her life.
The beautiful countryside of their youth is contrasted with the damaged aftermath of war. While Roland’s poetry is used to enhance the serenity that once was, the blood and pain of war ravaged soldiers speak of anything else. It is a film meant for the big screen. The dvd gives us the story, though the scenes ask for a bigger scale.
The camera cuts away to Vera’s reactions to what is happening around her. None of the men are focused on for any length of time. The relationship with her brother Edward is the most developed, which seems very reasonable. The clips of Colin that you have already seen on tumblr encompass almost all of his screen time, with minor exceptions. Even though we have already seen these images we still return for cherished glimpses of his performance.
There was an opportunity, I felt, in the hospital with Vera, where the camera could have lingered on Victor’s poignant sadness and attempted bravado … but again, it was the director’s choice to keep this restrained.
It is a film I definitely want to see on the Big Screen. The dvd will take its place among my collection of Colin’s work, which whether great or small, lead or lesser role, are treasured.
And, what of our hopes to see an increase in this continent’s awareness of Colin’s talent? That hope will be met with “Humans”, which, like Merlin, will provide the opportunities to reveal his exceptional skill to a wider audience.