Behind the Lines

Watch Behind the Lines

  • R
  • 1997
  • 1 hr 36 min
  • 7.0  (2,468)

Set in 1943, Behind the Lines is a war drama film that tells the story of a young British artist named Tom and his journey towards becoming a war artist during World War II. The film explores themes such as sacrifice, patriotism, the power of art, and the horrors of war. As the film begins, we see Tom trying to enlist in the army, but he is deemed unfit for combat due to his poor health. However, his artistic talent catches the eye of the War Artists Advisory Committee, who are looking for artists to document the conflict. Tom jumps at the chance to contribute to the war effort and is sent to North Africa where he joins a group of soldiers led by Captain John Braithwaite.

Tom's first assignment is to capture the emotional impact of the desert war on the soldiers. He quickly realizes that the reality of war is vastly different from what he had imagined. He is shaken by the gruesome scenes he witnesses and is troubled by the fact that his art is being used to glorify war. This internal conflict is further complicated when he starts to develop feelings for his fellow soldier and friend, Barney.

Amidst the chaos of war and personal struggles, Tom and his comrades find solace in each other's company. They bond over shared experiences and create a sense of camaraderie that provides them with the strength to face their darkest moments. At the same time, Tom's artistic journey continues as he is sent to Italy to capture the war-torn landscapes and destroyed architecture as a part of his documentation work.

As the film progresses, the horrors of war become more intense, and the reality of death and destruction becomes more apparent. Tom is increasingly disillusioned about the morality of war and the use of art as propaganda. In one particular scene, he breaks down in tears after witnessing the brutal execution of some Italian resistance fighters. It is clear that he is losing his sense of purpose, and his artistic visions don't seem to resonate with the current war-torn scenarios.

The film's climax comes when Tom and his comrades are sent to capture the devastation in Monte Cassino after the brutal bombing by the allied forces. Tom is unable to persuade his superiors to stop the bombing, and he is forced to depict the horrifying aftermath of the carnage through his art. The final scenes of the film depict the stark realities of war and its profound impact on the people involved.

Behind the Lines is a poignant war drama that explores the emotional struggles of soldiers and artists alike. The film's direction and pacing are excellent, and the actors deliver stellar performances. Jonny Lee Miller is exceptional as Tom, portraying the character's vulnerability and emotional conflicts with complete conviction. Jonathan Pryce as Captain John Braithwaite, and James Wilby as Major Tyson, provide solid support to the narrative.

The film's themes have a timeless quality, and it serves as a stark reminder of the horrors of war and the toll it takes on people. It is a film that portrays the impact of war on an individual in a way that is both personal and relatable. Behind the Lines is a must-watch for anyone interested in war movies or those who want to gain a deeper understanding of the human condition during times of conflict.

Behind the Lines
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 36 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (2,468)