Just an Observation

It is almost like they have deliberately concocted a new way for me to despise Christmas and unleash my ‘Bah Humbug’ spirit. I am, of course referring to the Sainsburys ad which depicts the historic World War One Christmas truce as an emotional lever to unlock those schmaltzy feelings which It’s a Wonderful Life does far more convincingly and, dare I say it, possibly more realistically.
A war where bodies rotted in trenches whilst rats chewed at strewn limbs of the dead has somehow transmogrified into a crisp white snow scene where wartime grievances are set aside for a kick around in beautifully pressed uniforms- which are removed to reveal equally Daz dazzling white vests underneath- whilst others exchange pleasantries and show family snapshots before smuggling gifts into each other’s pockets.
It is a gross misrepresentation of what actually occurred and wholly offensive to a whole generation who were fighting a war unaware of the true reasons behind it. It sadly attempts to portray war as a beautiful thing with stunning cinematography- and this is the most offensive message of all.
As most of us are aware that it is not people who want or declare war but governments and businesses, this short film-and make no mistake this is a piece of cinema at its most contrived and misleading- perpetuates so many inaccuracies as to render it misleading in its attempts to sell novelty crackers and turkeys. Sainsburys should be ashamed of marketing war in this way but really what they care as long as their profits keep rolling in.
To get an idea of the fear, trepidation, paranoia and mistrust of a true war torn area then I would suggest seeing ’71 set in Belfast in the early seventies. Jack O’ Connell gives an outstanding performance as a young soldier stranded after being abandoned by his unit and his fight for survival on the streets of an unknown city where burnt out cars seem to populate every street corner and people are reticent of lending assistance so fearful of reprisals are they. There is very little chance of someone smuggling their last chocolate bar into his pocket when a bomb would serve their purpose better. A full review can be found here.
The Fall returned to BBC2 last night picking up more or less where the last series left off and the game of cat and mouse between Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan continues. It is another superb piece of drama following that Thursday night slot so well filled by Peaky Blinders for the last six weeks. I still maintain that the BBC need to rethink their programming schedules as an hour of drama is not really long enough to create the right amount of tension, intrigue or atmosphere in the days of box-sets, Netflix etc. when people’s viewing habits have changed and are more attuned to watching dramas in longer stretches thus becoming more involved. I mean they are not hesitant in extending the length of programmes if it is a sporting event some of which last for hours uninterrupted so why not afford viewers of drama the same amount of screen time, Time to move into the 21st century I think.
Out at the cinema this week The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch looks an interesting proposition. Based on the true life story of Alan Turing who tried to crack the Enigma code in an attempt to thwart the Nazis during World War Two and then found himself persecuted for his homosexuality. Mind you I wouldn’t be surprised if Tesco or some other supermarket chain is already plundering this film in an attempt to repackage Easter for us.

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