Siegfried Sassoon (Jack Lowden) was once a soldier during World War I and witnessed many horrific moments and sad tragedies. From his experiences on the Western Front, Siegfried voices his frustrations and opinions about the problems and poor choices surrounding the war, and the people in politics who shouldn’t be there. Talented with words, especially poetry, Siegfried makes his voice loud and is heard by various generals and leaders.
But sadly, for voicing his opinions, Siegfried is declared mentally unfit and sent to hospital. During his time at the hospital, we learn more about Siegfried and not just his frustrations surrounding the war. We learn about his heart, the various relationships he is involved in and how his passion for poetry caused him to become a powerful force in history.
Benediction is best described as a drama film as it focuses on the aspects of war and romance. There will be some enjoyment here if you are a fan of war drama films. It’s well-acted, well shot, and certain moments are powerful thanks to creativity. The film tells its story rather slowly, showing us various moments from Siegfried’s life. We even get to see him as a much older Siegfried, played by Peter Capaldi. Touching right from the start, the film includes narrations of poetry and archival footage from World War I. These editing choices were highly pleasing and fitting. Set designs and costumes are also a major thumbs up throughout.
The elements of drama here are touching, and the various moments from Siegfried’s life are quite interesting. Jack Lowden as young Siegfried is wonderful, and the actor is unrecognisable compared to some of his previous work. His character is highly passionate about the war and truly takes the consideration of others to heart. It’s evident that he is also quite wise and well educated, given his wording during conversations about hard topics. However, Siegfried’s various romances become predictable, and I can’t deny the runtime is lengthy. Even when you feel as if the film is about to end, it keeps going.
Overall, those who enjoy drama and war films will find enjoyment here. It’s well-acted and well shot, and the story about the poet Siegfried Sassoon’s world is quite interesting and insightful. The sets and costumes are pleasing, and actor Jack Lowden is outstanding as the lead. However, the romance aspects come across as more predictable, and the duration overstays its welcome. As a Biography, it’s certainly worth a look, but naturally, it’s more fitting to a select few.