Netflix, along with other movie and television show streaming sites, have revolutionised how we watch media. Gone are the days of browsing local DVD rental shops as instead we’ve a library of new and old films and TV shows at our disposal at just a touch of a button. Not only do we have the choice of series and films we’ve previously enjoyed but now Netflix have begun to produce original material. Previously original films include; ‘Beasts of No Nation’ and ‘The Fundamentals of Caring’ and it is one of their upcoming original projects that I will be reviewing here, war drama ‘The Siege of Jadotville’.
With ‘Anthropoid’ only just released it seems that Jamie Dornan has taken quite a liking to films featuring the theme of war. He stars here as Irish Commandant Pat Quinlin who leads a small group of Irish soldiers against mercenaries in the Congo during the height of the Cold War. Dornan leads the cast well and he plays an interesting character, not the usual leader figure that we are used to in war films but this only helped to make things more interesting. Dornan plays the inexperienced soldier well allowing for believable and enjoyable development to occur. Fellow co-star of ‘Anthropoid’ Sam Keeley also appears in the cast here amongst a host of others who make up the collection of troops. They all perform well and there is a nice amount of humour featured in the opening scenes to help endear these characters to the audience. The actors portraying them do well but I would have liked to have seen a little more character development in the writing. This would have made the action scenes that little bit more effective. Thankfully the performances made the soldiers likeable anyway but that added development just would have elevated the film slightly more.
The scenes of conflict were exciting to watch and dramatic throughout. The film has an interesting structure in that it doesn’t play out in the usual formulaic pattern we’re used to. Instead the film is made up of several smaller sections of fighting. This was a nice change as it allowed the audience a breather in between all the action. Some war epics feature very long uninterrupted sequences of bloodshed and whilst these can be effective I liked the difference in approach here for ‘The Siege of Jadotville’. The action takes many forms in the film and when effects are required these are used well, the film goes for understated use of these but this never compromises the spectacle which can be a hard balance to find. Much like many war films the real strength lies with the narrative. There are so many stories to be uncovered through the larger picture of war and here we get to learn the story of this group of Irish soldiers. Like our main character and the structure of the film it might not be quite what you’re expecting but this is no bad thing. The story is an important one that deserved to be told and once again I’m so happy that the medium of film has taken the time to tell it.
Netflix have another hit on their hands with this war thriller. Thanks to a good performance from the cast which brings likeable characters to life and a solid narrative which anchors the movie ‘The Siege of Jadotville’ has the right foundation. Built upon with engaging scenes of battle, utilising effects and time, the film always entertains. Some more time spent with our characters at the start of the film would have been appreciated but due to this the film moves along at a nice pace. Hitting selected cinemas on the 19th September and Netflix on the 7th October you should definitely take some time to learn the story of these men which was left untold for so long.
Rating – 8/10
Question: What is your favourite Netflix Original Film or TV show so far?
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