Naturally beautiful and limitless in statements, military drama `Summerland` was released last month on the big screen. The plot intertwined World War II and love on with the social prejudices in the backstage. Jessica Swale created the idea, also she wrote the script and placed the main characters inside herself. This film fulfilled with conflicts and reflections on how do we accept acute social statements instead of being happy. It's interesting to notice that the main events took place at the beginning of 40s last century. So, nothing changes?
Summerland – a highly recommended drama!
Thus, the film has been just broadcasted, so we have much more time in advance to create our own opinion, choose favourites and prepare to meet other films by Jessica Swale. She’s quite interesting and outstanding.
Probably yes, either way, we put a doze of faith on an inexplicable miracle or do believe in God, or as some people are destiny self-makers. To sum up – all we believe in the inner strength. And also, everyone believes in the fact that special people always a bit different from that social character we get used accepting. But, if only one thing the film `Summerland` is about? Nope.
The plot discovers the quiet place – Kent, whereas children from military London were evacuated. Frank (Lucas Bond), a schoolboy, who met his foster mother Alice (Gemma Arterton) in a closed position. She was closed not only from a child but from local society, thought by the majority she was a witch or even Nazi spy. But it was invisible for ordinary people, but not for a boy’s heart, who could melt down the wall of ice. Finally, they became closer. However, their relationships got more sense. Alice, in her early age, was in love with another girl – Vera (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the future novel writer. It was a deep, energy connection, with conscious feelings and respect towards each other. But instead of being happy and beloved, Vera chose another, more convenient way – to create family, give birth to a child and live in a common way for most women of those times.
They were forced to break off relationships and since that moment their life divided. Vera stayed in London and got married to a pilot, who became a soldier during World War II. Alice moved to the hidden place on the edge of Kent County. She was full of academic researches to prove the myths and fairy tales. More of her daily life dipped in the miracle and air castles. This is literally. From character, we get used to seeing such isolated acting from the male side. As women also play someone warm and vulnerable, rescuing them brutal from the traumas of the past. It’s not typically for the female part, what at the same time – charming. So, going on.
Frank came with a tutor who ordered him Alice’s guardian, as a temporal foster family. Alice, in her part, was opposite to the role of `mother` and it took a pretty day while they could reach an understanding. Alice was a perfect parental pair, to my mind, for a small boy, who just start awakening from the stressful atmosphere. Moreover, he was a newcomer in a school, so without friends or support his life could turn into gray and dark. But Alice in her fantastic world transforms it into the bright and interesting way how to spend War, for example in the evacuation. Without jokes, that perspective is shown to us as from another critical edge – homeless child, in the warrior world, alone and abandoned. None could get him right, none as the same lonely person inside, as Alice. In turn, for Alice, he became a key, a tool of how to pick out that part of feelings and emotions which were hidden in-depth under the `bitter` cover. Even though many years passed she still loved Vera and couldn’t get that emotion-free. Delicate topic, but not only one a director is speaking to us.
Jessica Swale: she steps out of the room to the big screen
Before you watch Summerland, I advise you sincerely to read more information about the director. Anyway, we will look at some facts, but she is quite in opposition to the social frames. You will not only get all her idea but the sense of most her works. Initially, she started as a writer of theater plays, especially well known for performances in The Globe. She owns said that now is the time to step out of the room to the big screen. From the theater scene to the cinematography. Famous on-screen became a short film flaunting strict requirements to the actress in auditions – `Leading Lady Parts`.
It was translated on BBC and still, you could see it on YouTube channel. With fantastic cast and crew, whereas Gemma Arterton in producer, as a constant member, Gemma Chan, Emilia Clarke, Stacy Martin (yes, it was she, who acted in Nymphomaniac), Felicity Jones, Florence Pugh. The plot describes a trivial atmosphere in auditions, particularly that part when all women are not good enough to be the perfect one for the role. You are not skinny or too fat, you should be sexual and virgin at the same time. Be emotional, be white-skinned, be out of inner, you are not suited for that role, because you are women – the main messages Jessica has tried to show. She has never been social – adapted, but women who go fighting for women equality in cinema society.
Finally, a female role got Tom Hiddleston, who was approved without any audition, just because he was male born. So, as we could notice, Jessica Swale is more into a social topic to show how irregular acceptance could destroy truly happiness. As well as her characters, Alice and Vera, Jessica could feel their emotions through herself. As Jessica informed in the interview, while she was creating an idea to make the scenery about gay lovers and confront the conflict of female wellness, children and family, she was struggling with the problem of future to her family. So Jessica couldn’t get the right decision whether she was going to have kids or not, as her boyfriend was more into a free life. So that Jessica was in the same emotions as Vera, but with less radical perspectives – decided to save the relationship despite finding someone else to have children. I mean, also, Jessica Wales means, and, I hope, many common women are the same mind – you should never betray your feelings to social convictions. We don’t know if we meet another one better, but all the best things we could do together. Children, family, relationships could exist with those people who you love. And film final proof to us that Alice and Vera can raise a child together, didn’t care about what else people thought.
Generally, Summerland is fascinating. I highly recommend watching it. Got it successful in the social topic of tolerance and self- acceptance. Even though a part of sadness, the film left a pleasant aftertaste of something tender and emotionally close, you’ve just waited for. Maybe we all wait for `Summerland`.
Photos: Shutterstock / Photomontage: Martina Advaney
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