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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Resurrected - Resurrected(Blu Ray) [Powerhouse - 2020]

Resurrected is an often moodily lulling, at times fairly harrowing-to-disturbing British drama about the effects of war & institutionalized bullying. From Powerhouse here we have a recent Blu Ray release of the film- featuring a new scan of the film, and a handful of extras.

Resurrected appeared in 1989 was the first film directed by British director Paul Greengrass- who later went onto helmed big-budget fare like the Bourne action films, drama thriller Captain Philips, and plane highjack thriller Flight 93. Resurrected is a Film Four production, and at times it does move towards being a bit late 80’s TV drama like- though the fairly consistent, if at times understated acting, moody landscape shots, and moments of shocking violence rises it above simple TV drama states.

The film focuses in on small-town Yorkshire lad Kevin Deakin(David Thewlis) who is severing in the Falklands war. He disappears in a brutal battle- his family holds a hero's funeral, then seven weeks later he reappears seemingly having being lost on the Islands barren landscape. He’s sent back home with his fellow soldiers- but is ushered away from the homecoming crowds taken to see his parents in back room of the airport- so it’s clear the army is uncertain if he deserted or not. He returns to his small town home- at first as the hero, and then doubt starts to set in with the town’s people and his parents- even though he was cleared by an official inquiry. At first, the film deals with the effects of PTSD, Kevin trying to fit back into home, and the doubts of his family. Then he returns to barracks, and it’s clear many of his colleges doubt his story- with the punchy/ unpleasant Slaven- played in a wonderful nasty manner by Christopher Fulford- being the kingpin to the doubt, bulling and later violence taken out on Kevin.

Over the just over hour and half runtime we move between the misty & brooding landscapes of the Falklands, back to the dramatic landscape of Yorkshire rolling hills, and onto the catastrophic & stark barracks. Thewlis is great in the role-playing the right balance of furtive nervousness, doubt & fear. The supporting cast is good too- with his parents been played convincingly by Tom Bell & Rita Tushingham, with even a very young Steve Coogan turning up in a small role as one of the locals appealing for Kevin’s girlfriend's affections. In some of the small town set scenes, we do drop into slight padding/ predictable drama traits- though when his battle horrors return and he’s back at the barracks- the film kicks in harrowing at times quite disturbing territory. To a certain extent one can see why the film isn't as known as some war films of the period- due to the more slow drama moments- but as a stark often troubling stab at the armed forces & heroism it’s fairly distinct. 

On the extras side, we have the following- working from the new-to-older stuff, first off we get a new five-minute interview with actress Rita Tushingham talking about her role as Kevin's mother, and her memories of the shoot. Next, we get a just over hour-long audio-only interview with Philip Williams- whose true-life story was used as a base for the film's story- the interviews from 1992 and is with the Imperial War Museum- it starts with Williams discussing why he joined the army, going onto recount his time in Falklands- and everything that followed. Next, we get two stand-alone on-camera interviews from 2011, each runs around the nineteen-minute mark- the first is with director Paul Greengrass- here he talks about how he made the switch from working in Uk Tv, often on documentaries - how Resurrected came about, and his feelings on the film now. Next, we have an interview with actor David Thewlis- this is great as he talks about how this was his first role, meeting Philip Williams halfway through production, outset accident, and how the role resulted in him getting more serious roles instead of previously playing geek characters in UK TV. Lastly, you, of course, get an original trailer, and publicity/promotion gallery.

Resurrected fits in nicely with past Powerhouse titles that focused in on the traumatic side of war & those left behind like Birdy, The Triple Echo, and Gardens of Stone. And while at times the more clichéd drama elements do threaten to pull the whole thing down- do hang in there as it has a troubling-then-poignant conclusion that’s grantee to stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5

Roger Batty
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