Genre : War
Country : Australia
Johan Earl : Wilkins
Tim Pocock : O’Leary
Martin Copping : Jennings
Johan Earl,Adrian Powers
An Australian attempt to create an image of the terrible battles that were held in WWI. They managed to show that on a small scale. Military units in dirty miserable conditions, sitting in mud and other dirt, waiting until they were driven into a certain death. The whistling of bullets and explosions of bombs. The fear in the eyes of young soldiers who probably didn’t even know what this war was about.
The image I’ll remind of this movie was that of the arrogant superior who, without hesitation, gives an order to attack, although this would lead to a needless bloodshed. Because this was totally unnecessary and pointless in this stage of the battle, since they were planning for a heavy bombardment on the German positions. It was a showcase of egocentric display of power. I don’t understand why those hundred men in the trenches didn’t jump on that fagot coward collectively and chased him on the battlefield with a gun.
Anyway, the introduction of this film is the rush towards the German position, realizing that no one will reach the other side alive. Don’t expect grand heroic scenes like in “Saving Private Ryan“, but rather limited images and close-ups. A clear sign that this is a low-budget film. The three soldiers Sergeant Major Wilkins (Johan Earl), private O’Leary (Tim Pocock) and Corporal Jennings (Martin Copping), survive the massacre and end up in no man’s land between the two lines. The rest of the battalion is spread over the mud-filled grounds. From here on starts the biggest part of the movie, because going back to their own trenches takes time. Corporal Jennings is very badly injured (A full leg torn away) which makes that the withdrawal is not so evident. This section is therefore extremely boring. It’s not because of the acting. The acting is still acceptable despite the circumstances . But to be honest, a slowly receding threesome is not much to work with and to get an exciting story.
Eventually they made up a parallel story in which the wife of Sergeant Major Wilkins plays a leading role. She’s pregnant and wants an abortion. Something that wasn’t obvious to do at that time. Eventually she asks the help of a nurse who doesn’t have experience with this operation. Obviously this ends up in a complete tragedy. And what a coincidence ! This nurse is the fiancée of Corporal Jennings, who at the same time ceased to live on the battlefield.
“Forbidden Ground” mostly succeeded in visualizing the atmosphere and the horror in WWI, now 100 years ago. In terms of content, it’s a disaster and the story itself is a bit far fetched.