Let’s file this under: This film WILL indeed break your heart (and that’s ok, really it is).
I’ve had the true pleasure of seeing this film twice, and each time brought more tears – and in a way, more hope. Fury stars a phenomenal ensemble cast featuring Brad Pitt, Michael Penã, Shia LeBouf, Jon Bernthal and Logan Lerman.
Fury is the type of film that if you’re human, it will stay with you long after the curtain is drawn and I have to admit the cast is a big reason why.
Fury is the story of a tank unit in WWII who has been together a VERY long time because of the intelligence and skills of the group’s leader, Don “Wardaddy” Collier, played masterfully by Brad Pitt. The group has also lasted because of quite a bit of divine intervention helped along by Boyd “Bible” Swan, who is portrayed masterfully by Shia LeBouf.
The story focuses on WWII, specifically the period when the allies have surged into Germany and imminent surrender by the Germans is an “any day now” sort of event.
The film draws first blood immediately, and from the very beginning shows the harsh reality that is war. It reveals the decisions that those who fight are required to make in an instant because any sort of delay and a soldier or an entire platoon may not see the sun, their families, or the country they’re fighting to protect AGAIN.
A great portion of the first act centres on the introduction of Logan’s Lerman’s character Norman Ellison, an extremely young clerk typist who suddenly finds himself in the heart of the conflict that I’m almost certain he had thought to be a fairy tale or maybe even something that he role-played with his toy soldiers at home.
Wardaddy (as in top person in charge) realises that this charge he has been sent is far too young, far too green and far too saintly to be a member of Fury’s crew. Both Pitt and Lerman do a phenomenal job of the push-pull that is a huge part of this film.
Wardaddy has sadly seen it all, Norman not nearly enough, and there is the beautiful battle between the two of them that plays like a tug of war accompanied by a symphony. This plays through the film, and as a film goer you are grateful because it helps the film flow very strongly. It also allows it to stay true to its main premise, and it does so magnificently.
Jon Bernthal and Michael Penâ, two of my absolutely favourite, highly underrated actors, do an exceptional job of providing the film with comic relief. Now, I don’t mean that they make a mockery of their situation, what I’m implying is that their sense of humour and sense of connection is much-needed in such a time when people die daily, and thus hearts are broken daily. The ways that these two choose to cope, are not all that unusual in this type of scenario, and give us a much-needed realistic sense of how these soldiers deal with the everyday realities that they alone must face.
Now to my FAVOURITE character in this film. Bible, played brilliantly by Shia LeBouf. Bible is the Fury’s link to their Creator, but also their sense of duty and their sense of responsibility. Bible grounds them in a way only he can do. His faith is strong but even more so, his HUMANITY is unwavering. Humanity, in a WAR ZONE.
Bible doesn’t just throw bible verses at you, he speaks the words you need to hear to tether yourself to your humanism. He reminds you that above all else a little internal strength goes a LONG way towards preparing you for the horrors of war, and yet reminding you that you are indeed in hell on earth.
It’s ironic that Bible is the Fury’s primary large-caliber gunner, simply because of whom he is and what he believes. And you see the internal struggle which Shia nails so hard, it scares you at times. He delivers an absolutely brilliant performance that I hope we see from him again, because when he’s given the right material, he leaves you NO doubt who he is within the context of the story, and WHY he’s an integral part of it.
I don’t think I have enough adjectives to describe how much I really enjoyed him in this film, but I do know he’s a huge reason why I chose to screen the film twice. It’s just that powerful and moving of a performance.
Remember the name WARDADDY. Why? Because you would never want to meet a guy on the street with that sort of nickname. Is he lethal? Absolutely. Is he ruthless? Absolutely. Is he HUMAN? At times you find yourself wondering. I don’t think I’ve seen a performance like this from Pitt since his role in Se7en.
In a word, ETHEREAL. SUBLIME. MAGNIFICENT. Wardaddy is the only member of the Fury’s crew who speaks German fluently and this particular skill is used extremely well throughout the entire film. You find yourself wondering not only is he human, but is there anything Wardaddy is a failure at.
And no, I don’t mean he’s without flaws, but flaws and failures are two very different things and Mr. Pitt does a brilliant job of making those differences sing out loud. There is a humanity, a sense of calm that Wardaddy possesses and at first one might find it odd or out-of-place in such a setting, but Mr. Pitt not only makes it work, he does it in such a way that your very soul is warmed and yet burns from the ache you feel as he weaves in and out of the nuances of his character.
Fury is a masterpiece, an instant classic that despite all the sadness, the blood, the horrors, the soul-stirring heartbreak, leaves you with a sense of WILL, HOPE, and AWAKENING that very few films have the power to do.
I HIGHLY recommend that you head to a theatre near you and check this beauty of a film out, it will leave its mark on you, just as it did with me. #SheCritiques
Joyll Cambridge hails from Manchester, United Kingdom and currently lives in New York, New York. She loves all things movies, fitness and swirling. To read Joyll’s personal blog at The Humanist Exec, click here.
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Copyright ©2014 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, The Swirl World™, The Swirl World Podcast™, All rights reserved. Photo of Joyll Cambridge used with permission. Movie poster from the movie “Fury” obtained from Wikipedia.