Watch Testament of Youth
- 2 hr 9 min
Set against the backdrop of the First World War, "Testament of Youth" is a poignant and powerful drama based on the true story of Vera Brittain, a young woman who defied her family's expectations to pursue her dreams of studying at Oxford and becoming a writer. Starring Alicia Vikander as Vera, the film is a moving tribute to the courage and resilience of the women who lived through one of the darkest periods in human history.
The film begins in the picturesque countryside of Derbyshire, England, in the years leading up to the outbreak of World War I. Vera is a bright and ambitious young woman, eager to explore the world beyond the narrow confines of her sheltered life. Her father, a stern and traditional man, disapproves of her desire to attend Oxford University, but Vera is determined to follow her dreams.
At Oxford, Vera meets a group of young men who would later become her closest allies and, in some cases, her tragic companions. Among these are Roland (played by Kit Harington), her brother's handsome friend, whom she quickly falls in love with. Vera's passion for Roland is reciprocated, and the two of them embark on a sweet and tender romance that is tragically curtailed by the war.
When war breaks out in Europe, Vera's life is turned upside down. She abandons her studies to become a nurse, tending to the wounded and dying soldiers in the hospitals near the front line. As the war drags on, Vera becomes increasingly disillusioned with the brutality and senselessness of the conflict, and she begins to question the values and beliefs that had sustained her up to that point.
The film does an excellent job of conveying the horror and trauma of the First World War, as well as the long-term psychological damage that it inflicted on millions of people. The scenes of wounded soldiers lying in agony, the devastated landscapes of Europe, and the chaos and confusion of the battlefield are all rendered with grim realism.
At the same time, however, "Testament of Youth" is a story of hope and resilience in the face of adversity. Despite the overwhelming odds against her, Vera remains determined to live a fulfilling life and create something of beauty and value from the ruins of war. Her love for Roland, and her quest to honor his memory and that of the other fallen soldiers, becomes a driving force in her life.
Throughout the film, Alicia Vikander gives a stunning performance as Vera Brittain, conveying both her steely determination and her vulnerability and pain. Her chemistry with Kit Harington is palpable, and the two of them are utterly convincing as young lovers torn apart by war.
The film is also notable for its exploration of key themes such as gender roles, class, and gender identity. As a woman in a male-dominated society, Vera often finds herself struggling to assert her independence and forge a path for herself that doesn't conform to society's expectations. Similarly, the film also depicts the crushing weight of societal norms and expectations on men, especially in the context of the conflict.
Overall, "Testament of Youth" is a beautifully crafted, emotionally resonant film that tells a powerful story of love, loss, and redemption. It is an evocative reminder of the sacrifices that were made during the Great War, and of the enduring power of the human spirit to endure in the face of unimaginable adversity.
Testament of Youth is a 2015 history movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 9 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 76.