Private Peaceful Film Review

Love Triangle For Two Brothers Creates Thrilling Stir!

Tommo (George MacKay) and Charlie Peaceful (Jack O’Connell) had a healthy sibling rivalry while growing up in Devon at the dawn of the 20th Century. The brothers were raised country estate owned by a family of affluent and aristocratic Brits.

Their father (Stephen Kennedy) was employed there as both gamekeeper and forester. With his high paying job, he was able to afford to send his sons to a private school.

Everything changes and falls apart when their dad dies in a logging accident. Since their mother (Maxine Peake) can no longer afford the rent or tuition, they were brought to ordeal that will change their lives forever. The two brother also left behind Molly (Alexandra Roach), a beautiful classmate both have a crush on.

Despite moving away, Tommo and Charlie venture back as teens to frolic in the forest with the irresistible object of their affection. A bit of a tease, Molly initially refuses to pick between her ardent admirers, instead only promising to marry one Mr. Peaceful while assuring that I’ll be happy until the day we die.

This is the premise underpinning Private Peaceful, a bittersweet love story based on Michael Morpurgo’s young adult novel of the same name. The book was previously adapted into a play which debuted at the Royal Theater in 2004.

Directed by Pat O’Connor (Sweet November), the screen version is an intriguing romance drama which takes a sharp turn about midway through when Tommo and Charlie enlist in the army and ship off to serve their country in Flanders’ fields. However, there remains concern about Molly who’d announced her unplanned pregnancy shortly before the outbreak of World War I.

Who’s the daddy? Will the Peacefuls survive? These are the pivotal questions left to be addressed between bombs bursting in air. Trench warfare as the backdrop for a tawdry love triangle about as incestuous as it gets.

Private Peaceful

Very Good (3 stars)


Running time: 102 minutes

Distributor: BBC America

Watch a Private Peaceful trailer:

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Kam Williams is a popular and top NewsBlaze reviewer, our chief critic. Kam gives his unvarnished opinion on movies, DVDs and books, plus many in-depth and revealing celebrity interviews.

Sadly, Lloyd Kam Williams passed away in 2019, leaving behind a huge body of work focused on America’s black entertainment community. We were as sad to hear of his passing as we were overjoyed to have him as part of our team.