Behind The Lines – Movie Review Example
Behind the Lines The movie, ‘Behind the Lines’ buttresses the point that Pat Barker tried to show in his novel, Regeneration. Just like the novel, the film shows the relationships that existed between the great poet and famous war-hero, Siegfried Sassoon (James Wilby) and Dr. William Rivers (Jonathan Pryce). In the film, Sassoon was depicted as a poet that wrote some anti-war statements and as a result, he was taken to a mental asylum for rehabilitation. Dr. Rivers was hired to make Sassoon renounce his writings and get back to the battlefield. The film also tried to show the relationship that existed between Dr. Rivers and some other patients like the amnesiac Billy Prior (Johny Lee Miller). Behind the Lines also showed how Sassoon mentored Wilfred Owen (Stuart Bunce) to become a great poet. The film tried to use the outstanding scene-to-scene dialogue that was present in Pat Barker’s novel quite perfectly (Pryce, Wilby, Bunce & Miller).
The interpretation of the events that was detailed in Behind the Lines does not really differ from what was written in the Regeneration novel. The film clearly tried to show how Dr. Rivers tried to cure the shell-shocked patients that were involved in the war. The source material is well adapted for the film as there is no much difference that could be spotted in the film. The film could then be said to be a perfect representation of the novel. The only significant difference that was noticed was in the scene where Dr. Rivers had an open confrontation with Sassoon as this was not similar to what was read in the book(Pryce, Wilby, Bunce & Miller)
Behind the Lines does not leave out any detail as it presents a perfect account of what was recorded in the novel. It could be argued that the movie goes further to analyze some of the details that was not written in the novel. The film actually perfected what was written in the novel as one of the most horrifying scenes was when Dr. Rivers saw another doctor trying to make a patient talk by applying electricity to his larynx and teeth.
The movie focuses on the devastating effects that the war had on men. It dwells on the emotional impact that the various battles of the First World War had on the people that fought the war and the ones that were close to the warfront. Behind the Lines shows its teeming audience the struggle of men to escape from the trauma involved in experiencing a war of such magnitude. People tried to recover from the effects of this war through therapy, poetry and love. This justifies the inclusion of Sassoon the poet and Dr. Williams Rivers in the movie. In trying to show the effects of the war on the emotional lives of the soldiers that fought the war, the main focus of the movie is the same as that of the novel. This explains the reason that most of the action in the movie took place in a mental asylum and not in the battlefield. The main purpose of the doctors in the Scottish hospital was to get the shell-shocked patients back to their senses and return them to the front line.
The filmmakers tried to use a dark adaptation setting and an austere environment of the hospital and this was done so that the viewers would be able to feel the claustrophobic effect that the shell-shocked patients also felt while in this bleak environment. The filmmakers also did not stray from the main point of the novel as this was the only thing that earned the film its credibility as there was no iota of fiction in the film. It is the reality in the film that keeps viewers glued to the screen till the end of the film.
Behind the Lines. Dir. MacKinnon, Gillies. Perf. Pryce Jonathan, Wilby James, Bunce Stuart and
Miller, Johnny Lee. 1998.