A Merry War

Watch A Merry War

  • PG-13
  • 1998
  • 1 hr 42 min
  • 6.3  (1,528)

A Merry War, also known as Keep the Aspidistra Flying, is a British film from 1997, based on the novel by George Orwell. The movie is a romantic comedy-drama set in the 1930s, which tells the story of a struggling poet, Gordon Comstock (Richard E. Grant), and his girlfriend, Rosemary (Helena Bonham Carter), who have to choose between their love for each other and their ideals.

Gordon is an idealist who dreams of becoming a famous poet, but he is frustrated by his lack of success, and resentful of the commercialized society he lives in. He is determined to live the life of a bohemian artist, even if it means sacrificing his relationship with his long-time girlfriend, Rosemary. Meanwhile, Rosemary, who is also an idealist, is slowly becoming disillusioned with Gordon's unrealistic and impractical ideas.

The movie starts as Gordon quits his steady job as an advertising copywriter to devote himself to poetry full time. He manages to publish several poems in literary magazines, but quickly realizes that he cannot make a living from poetry alone. In his frustration, he starts to resent Rosemary for being more pragmatic and less idealistic. Meanwhile, Rosemary gets a job as an assistant in a publishing company, and becomes friends with the managing editor, Ravelston (Julian Wadham).

Ravelston is a wealthy, charismatic and sophisticated man, who immediately catches Rosemary's attention. She starts to hang out with him and his upper-class friends, and begins to appreciate the luxuries they enjoy. Gordon is jealous of Ravelston, and starts to worry that Rosemary is becoming more interested in money than in their relationship.

As his financial situation becomes more difficult, Gordon starts to write ads again, and to compromise his artistic integrity to make a living. He hates himself for it, but he soon realizes that his principles cannot pay his rent. He applies for a regular job at the publishing company where Rosemary works, hoping to win her back. But, to his surprise, he also impresses Ravelston, who offers him a high-paying job as an advertising copywriter.

Gordon accepts the offer, but soon regrets it when he realizes that he has abandoned his principles completely. He hates his new job, hates himself for doing it, and hates the fact that Rosemary seems to have fallen for Ravelston. In a fit of desperation, he quits his job, and decides to devote himself to his poetry again, even if it means living in poverty.

The movie reaches its climax when Rosemary is faced with a choice between Gordon and Ravelston. She ultimately chooses Gordon and his idealism, even though it means living a hard life. The couple reunites, and Gordon is finally able to focus on his art without feelings of guilt.

A Merry War is an emotional and witty film that explores the themes of idealism, love, and the struggle between art and commerce. The performances of Richard E. Grant, Helena Bonham Carter, and Julian Wadham are all superb, and the movie benefits from a great script that balances humor and romance with a thoughtful exploration of its characters' struggles.

Overall, A Merry War is a must-see for anyone who loves romantic comedies, art, and literature. The movie's exploration of the human condition is timeless, and its message still resonates today.

A Merry War is a 1998 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 42 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3.

A Merry War
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 42 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (1,528)