“It’s called, ‘Mega Death’ I think, so many millions people dead per bang…any ketchup dear?”Review by Lewis Goodall
Life…… BOOOOOOOM….. GONE……. decent……..laughter…….destruction……..hope….damaged curtains.
That was my little slam poetry that I was inspired to write after watching this film about a nuclear bomb hitting England. I cant tell what was more explosive, the bomb itself or the David Bowie song written specifically for this films cause both hit judt as hard!
‘When the Wind Blows’ is directed by the same people behind ‘The Snowman’, the film with the song that people try and sing but cant I less someone hits their nutsack with a crochet mallet. This film takes a slightly more dark approach with a story of nuclear war and follows a naive, old couple, Jim and Hilda Bloggs ( played by John Mills and Peggy Ashcroft). The two follow the instructions on a government panflet to construct a shelter to withstand the nuclear blast. After the bomb arrives, the two must adapt to the new way of living with foggy skies and milk not being delivered to their front door every morning.
I feel less human after watching this film because it felt so real and so human that I actually forgot that these cartoon characters weren’t real people. This is a british film and possibly as british as it can possibly get! Everything about this film screams british and it’s a beautiful thing to watch. The humour of watching this lovely old couple, bumble about as they prepare for nuclear warfare is dry and heartwarming. Mr and Mrs Bloggs are your typical old couple. They discuss what they’ve seen throughout the day, they worry about the washing not being in and they listen to the radio with dinner. Jim is doing research into the war that is about to spark at any second and takes every precaution to ensure his and Hildas safety, by constructing possibly the most unsafe shelter I have seen, but hey! It worked, they survive. Their relationship is strong and wonderfully acted, I’m not joking when I said forget they weren’t real, the way they talk and how they say it is just mindblowingly to what it must be like to be a fly on the wall in an old married couples house. Its rich and full of life with the way they talked to each other they it never made for a dull moment. They are just the cutest couple as well! What other couple would cut a fruit pastille in half?? No one I see on the internet, that’s for damn sure.
The whole film takes place within their home with the exception of a couple of scenes out and about to look at the aftermath of this horrific bomb that mustve killed millions of people. In the short 84 minute run time, I became one with his house, I felt like I knew the layout and could navigate it with my eyes closed. The house is presented in a strange way I must add, let’s discuss the animation. Being an animated film, quite a lot of it is animated, makes sense right? The animation style is a mixture between 2D cartoon and 3D stop animation to create the scenery. Although a lot of the time this is done incredibly well, there were moments when this being uber jarring to the eyes, especially when elements of the 3D stopmotion interacted with the 2D characters. Although a lot of the time it was pretty, especially when the bomb explodes and the house turn into a mess.
Talking of mess, Hilda is a clean freak so the moment the bomb goes off shes wanting out of the shelter so she can clean the curtains. Honestly the naivety of the two of them during this horrific event is hilarious. I could not choose a quite to pick for the name of the review because there were so many classic lines that had me laughing out loud that it was a tough one to decide. The delivery of the dry, british humour is excuted better than a prison of war by a man with a very sharp machete. I felt this is a film that would shoot over ants head who isnt British, it just has that tone that no one would really understand. Taking place all in one location, this film relies on the humour keep you captivated and it is such a fine art that it wors in this case but I feel with some people, if the humour didnt hit with them then it may make for a dull experience. Personally I thought it was wonderful.
Overall this film is a powerful message about the effects of nuclear warfare on old people and how they deal with their best cushions being ripped in the blast. It’s a charmer, a heart warmer, a rib tickler, it has it all, even hitler makes an appearance so if you’re into hitler then I would not give this a miss.