Testament of Youth is based on the memoir and best selling book by Vera Brittain,a war veteran who went on to become one of the most famous socialists of the time.
The film opens with VE Day and follows a young Vera(Alicia Vikander) before she becomes a socialist,when all she dreams of is going to Oxford university to study Literature. During her brother Edmund’s(Taron Egerton) leave from army college,Vera meets and forms a relationship with Edmunds friend, Roland(Kit Harrington) despite not getting off to the best start.
With a little persuading from her brother, her father(Dominic West) allows Vera sit the entry exam to Oxford,which even though she didn’t realise there would be a Latin exam,she passed and received her place.
After completing her first term,she finds out the boys in her life including Edmund and Roland have signed up to fight in the First World War. With the most important people fighting for their lives,Vera signs up to become a nurse.
Whilst on home leave,Roland asks Vera to marry him when he is next home. This ends with tragic circumstances and is only the start of her story. With the loss of Roland she steps up her nursing duties and is sent to France to save lives on the front line. There she saves Edmund before he tells her to go back to Oxford.
Returning to Oxford the film switches back to VE Day where it first begins to find her debating to a room full of people about the war. Thus begins her journey to becoming one of the famous socialists and public speakers of the time.
Although the film includes an all British cast with the likes of Dominic West,Emily Watson and Hayley Atwell, I am sad to say the film Testament of Youth didn’t live up to my expectations.
Vera and Roland’s relationship portrayed by newcomer Alicia Vakinder and Game of Thrones Kit Harrington didn’t seem very believable,but maybe that is because of the amount of films recently released about the First World War coinciding with the centenary.
Genre: War, Drama, Romance | Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment | Release Date:25th May 2015 (UK) | Rating: 12 | Director: James Kent | Cast: Alicia Vikander, Kit Harrington, Emily Watson, Colin Morgan, Taron Egerton