Have always loved RC Sherriff’s play ‘Journey’s End’ ever since studying it twice in secondary school in English when studying World War I literature. ‘Journey’s End’ is fascinating and powerful enough when reading it, it is even more so when talking about and analysing it when all the different perspectives, themes, conflicts and distinctions are picked up on.
This 2017 film adaptation lived up to my already high expectations and more. To me, it’s one of 2017’s (released this year here) best and most emotional films but sadly it is likely to go under-appreciated, due to being released very close to the Oscars/Academy Awards ceremony, not yet having a worldwide release (so far only restricted to three countries) and being alongside films that by type audiences are more likely to go and see. That’s my feeling at the moment and here’s to hoping in the future it will be proved wrong, because it does deserve much better than that. Not just because it is a wonderful film but also that as said giving a film that does an important subject justice and so far get a limited release in a centenary year is something of a disrespect.
‘Journey’s End’ is very successful at capturing the spirit of Sherriff’s play in themes and characterisation, with all the different varied perspectives, varied class distinctions and characters that easily could have been just world war clichés rightly given the complexity they have in the play. It is equally successful in not being stage bound or too stagy, a danger with play to film adaptations and a trap fallen into numerous times, capturing the tense claustrophobia of the setting while opening out the action that it feels cinematic without getting overblown.