This is a clever setting and timeless study of where everyone of us are headed someday in the future - our death and afterlife. The whole film gave me a challenge to measure my own way of living today and all the priorities I have solidified.
The gentle manner of presenting these challenges makes it easy to follow and I think the actors in general did an excellent job of filling their roles.
This movie is rarely shown and I do not think it is available on any home video format. You can see it on Turner once-in-awhile and I think anyone open to a serious message will be rewarded.
Remember it is only 7 years since war's end when NBC undertook to present this series. Great actual film footage and superb narration. The musical score is original and is married to the subject perfectly. If you do not feel this presentation, I suspect you have not allowed yourself to feel it. It seemed like every man who played a part of this film became a bit of myself. It is impossible to recreate these events with the depth of sadness and triumph the reality conveys. The series did a great job of presenting the naval war in logical pieces - each piece is a well knit square that makes up one twenty sixth of the whole quilt. Having lived those years young enough to be home and old enough to hear the concerns - to watch the tears of loved ones left home and rejoice with them who returned, I think this film presents it all in an inspired way.
I do not find any movie "perfect" but I find many movies good enough to use that term. I liked each character and thought they were well casted.
Brad's earthly "innocence" about normal human activities is extremely well done and Hopkins seems to play himself. I would love to know him better since he is always best when he plays the man he surely must be, 3 hours is long but I remained completely engrossed. I will watch it again with relish because there is much to savor as far as I am concerned.
The necessary personal confrontations - hard and soft - are well filmed but Brad's first love encounter does a great job of capturing innocence satisfied.
I have had fairly little concern for Brad before but now find him worthy of watching more.
The power of this movie to deeply affect those who experience it, explains the vehement criticism that it is anti-semetic. It is undoubtedly the finest re-creation of the event which changed the world, namely the death of Jesus Christ. I suppose one could sit and view it solely as a critic but like any such experience, what a shame to waste it. Rather I suggest that anyone who enters this event simply let it happen to you. I am a movie buff and as such, I usually try and succeed at leaving my body and entering the picture with my mind. This always maximizes the experience. Some people seem to fear the experience and I am sure that anyone who feels like it is free to leave whenever they wish - God knows I have done that a couple of times.
More movies should be pure enjoyment. They don't have to be great to be enjoyable and this movie with it's nostalgia and adolescent discovery of the wonder of girls is a fun movie. The best part of the movie is the steady friendship between Appleby and Billy Boy. It begins with them and ends with them having matured and yet having not lost their youth. Don't watch this movie as a critique. Watch it as if you are enjoying the popcorn.
Shane and Mandy are very different people and the play allows them to retain their individuality while faling in love. Shane becomes a romantic and her response is careful. The thread which weaves their lives together is his becoming the kind of giving person she already is - he is forced into a new way of living - she is already there. I think this kind of positive tale is something possible for a lot of people who might consider similar changes to their fairly useless lives.
The ending lacks being overdramaticized and lets those involved show their best. This is a really enjoyable film.
I am actually searching for another occasion to watch this movie. I feel that it is an excellent lesson for anyone who wishes to seriously advance his or her marital and sexual intimacy. As this one couple spend time individually with a sex therapist, each seems to learn how little they know about loving each other and how much they truly desire to be lovers. Well worth seeing.