Disclaimer: I do not believe in writing reviews for movies or series. Though I do not mind sprinkling my opinion of the extreme likes and dislikes. If you have not seen the movie then please go and watch it before you read as I don’t care much about spoilers. Hint: this means there will be potential spoilers. But a request – don’t believe everything I write here. Make your own call once you watch it.
On one quiet & chilly night, 4 friends were walking back home from a party. Singing songs, having a fun dance, enjoying the sense of ‘being alive, just like anyone after a party. But unlike anyone, they were stopped by the German army and questioned on the reason behind staying out after the curfew as they were in Guernsey during the occupation. In order to save their lives they blabbered that they were coming from their book club meeting – The Guernsey-uuhhh -lllLiterary –aaaAnd Potato Peel Pie Society. And the society was formed!
The real story starts when after the war, a member of society from Guernsey, Dawsey Adams writes a letter to an Author in England, Juliet Ashton. He finds her address in one of her old books that she probably sold for money during the war. Dawsey wants an address of a book store in England. She gets interested and writes him back with the book and 3 questions. The letters are honest, simple, and yet it captures your attention. Personal note-‘I have a thing for written communication and authors and history so maybe this was supposed to be a movie I would like.’
- This is not a generic period drama showing the time of German Occupation on the Island of Guernsey in England. Rather, the movie showed the lives unfolding during and after the dreadful World War ll. There are many scenes in the movies that captures your attention and you are completely absorbed in the times of dismay. Its a historical romance story based on a 2008 written novel by Many Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow’s. Surprisingly its not based on any one person’s life. However, as per the writer, she received many heartfelt letters after the book was published on how the story resembled many readers lives of that time.
- The scene that hooked me – Author Juliet Ashton is finally ready to purchase a house after the war is over. The moment realtor opens the door of a lavish apartment for her, all she sees is havoc of the war, scattered debris all around, gun shots and just the absence of anything living. In a single shot, viewer is standing face to face with the demons of war, ‘real war’. Juliet’s friend asks her a question and she is forced back to life and finds is hard to believe that its really over.
But was it really over? The war probably stays within. The torture and shame one normal person is made to feel during captivity is probably alive in them forever and passed onto generations.
- Few scenes & moments which were just priceless and the were not gagging for attention –
- Juliet notices a house being painted and she says “Fresh paint”. This simple dialogue shows the effect of war as simple thing like fresh paint is scarce.
- The dresses and the fashion: Did you know that during WW ll the scarcity of clothes led to shorter dresses and sort of manly boxy shoulder pads for women. However, the evening dresses were elegant but my guess is that they were for people of wealthy societies.
- A scene shot during occupation in Guernsey where the members of yet to be formed society is meeting for the first time to roast a hidden pig. Finally after years of starvation during occupation, they find an opportunity to eat and connect. The drools are all over the scene.
- All the scenes between Dawsey and Juliet are breathtakingly beautiful. The fun of period drama is the lingering of passion filled encounters. Its right there but you can’t see the romance filled kisses but you can hear the heart pounding and eyes waiting for the adventure.
- The charm of Guernsey leaves you craving for the life in peace. But at the same time shows a life filled with the tearful stories of real moments during the war. We can only imagine what people went through.
- Finally my fav: Juliet is never able to find a home for herself as if even before she met Darcy, she knows where her home is. Its perfectly described in a non connecting dialogue in the movie –“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” Maybe this instinct is for lonely hearts too and finally she find her home in him.
I am no one to give star ratings but since most understand through that then here you go – Awesome 5
Read the book –
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Watch the Movie- On Netflix