At The Movies: The Great Escaper

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Verdict: 4/5

‘The Great Escaper’ marks the end of Michael Caine’s extraordinary career as an actor. But is it a fitting ending?


At 90-years-old, Caine delivers one of his most poignant performances yet as Bernard Jordan, a man whose real-life story made global headlines when he staged a “great escape” from his care home to join fellow war veterans at the D-Day Landings 70th anniversary in 2014.

It’s a touching story that was always bound to be brought to the big screen. But it was also one at risk of excessive sentimentality.

‘The Great Escaper’ avoids this by focusing largely on Bernard’s relationship with his wife, and their interactions with care staff and fellow veterans, both young and old.

The result is a film that is as much about coming to terms with the trauma of war as it is a love story.

It would have only been half as good, of course, if it weren’t for the talented Glenda Jackson, who plays Bernard’s wife of 60-years, Rene.

Jackson, who sadly died last year, delivers her final performance exceptionally well. Her conversations with the staff at the care home are full of wit and wisdom, garnering some of the biggest laughs throughout the whole film, while her moments of reminiscing tug on the heartstrings of even the toughest of movie-goers.

Naturally, a film about paying tribute to the lives that were lost in World War II and growing old with the person you love was always going to pack an emotional punch.

For myself, it was impossible to ignore the muffled sobs and sniffles that took place in the cinema at some particularly moving scenes.

It may not be for the people who prefer their movies jam-packed full of car chases and action, but for those after a heartfelt story about

forgiveness and enduring love, ‘The Great Escaper’ is a must-see.

Just make sure to bring your tissues.

See this movie at Hoyts Penrith.

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