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User Reviews for: They Shall Not Grow Old

9/10  3 years ago
I went into this mostly to see what results had Peter Jackson and his team achieved in restoring old footage. The visual aspect was what I was interested in, as I am not one for documentaries otherwise; but "They Shall Not Grow Old" is really something else.

The movie avoids to identify the soldiers that speak and narrate throughout the movie. It also makes no mention of specific dates nor places. It's a great idea, as it makes the whole story not about an individual or a certain battle but rather about what it was like being an infantryman in the British army on the western front; and it managed to convey that message brilliantly. From the exuberance of the young british eager to enlist when the war started to their first doubts after a few weeks of training; from the camaraderie and bonding that happened in the trenches to the horror of the charges against the machine guns.

The visuals really helped bring the whole experience into the 21st century. Sometimes watching old footage you feel disconnected, detached. It's in black and white, it's at a weird speed, it looks almost parodistic. Here instead, a lot of footage has been colorized and its speed adjusted. Sure it doesn't look perfect, you can see some interpolation and visual glitches, but this is not some big production in Hollywood. These were real men, firing real guns and losing their real lives.

The audio was also great. The way they managed to edit the various interviews of the soldiers was incredible; if you didn't know that they used 600 hours of dialogue, you'd think that a platoon of soldiers was sitting in a pub, telling each other stories from the war. Plus the work they've done to add audio to the footage was very well done, with believable sound effects.

In the end, I was very surprised by this movie. The 100 minutes of runtime flies by. Watch it.

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