The Flowers of War Reviews
Certainly one of the poorer entries in Bale's filmography thus far, with his character feeling a poor caricature of a drunk for the most part. However, his performance is still decent and the supporting cast don't disappoint.
It's a pretty film and I very much like the idea, however, the execution in relation to the film's tone is dreadful. It covers many horrific events and almost feels like it's making a mockery of them at times. Further, you can just see the pages from the script written all over the film. What I mean here is that, you can tell when this story is genuinely interesting and you can tell when scenes and dialogue are simply there to move things forward in a generic and formulaic manner. There's something interesting here that is, more often than not, drowned in tedium.
The film is almost two and a half hours long too so this tedium really starts to take its toll.
Having said all this, I must say that I still found the film engrossing for the most part and there are certainly more than enough plot developments to make it exciting viewing overall. What we have here is an average film masquerading as a powerful drama with a strong subject matter. This could easily have been so much more had it been given handled with more care. Still, I don't think all of the flaws damn the film- if you can lower your expectations and go with the flow, then this one won't be a bad time.
The overall tone of the film has been heavily criticised for being too 'schmaltzy'