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Film Review: Military Wives

Author: Kristina Cooper

Picture: KOVA PR

Film Review: Military Wives

Kristina Cooper sees Christian values in the film Military Wives.

Military Wives  is a classic feel good film inspired by a true story. 

TV choirmaster, Gareth Malone, was asked by a couple of military wives in 2012 to start a choir, which ended up singing at the remembrance service at the Royal Albert Hall and having a best selling Christmas single.

In this version, the role of Gareth is airbrushed out. Instead it tells the story a disparate group of military wives, who are yet again faced with the anxiety of seeing their men going off for military duty in Afghanistan, not knowing if they will make it back or not. 

They all cope with this in different ways. The colonel’s stiff-lipped posh wife (Kristen Scott Thomas) does online shopping, while the Sergeant Major’s earthy wife (Sharon Horgan) drowns her sorrows with too many girls’ nights out.

Starting a choir is seen as a good way to help the wives of the battalion to bond with each other and forget their troubles. The two main characters  (Scott Thomas and Horgan) inevitably clash in their differing ideas as to how the choir should be run, which underline their different class backgrounds. 

Watch the trailer here:

Understanding And Acceptance

Yet all the characters are portrayed in a sympathetic light and one gets a real sense of what it is like to be a military wife living on army camp.  Through being part of the choir, the women gradually begin to understand and accept other, as well as appreciating the different gifts they bring.

Although religion is not mentioned, this call to not judge but to accept others, and be open to their gifts, is very Christian. Likewise regular church-goers know the power of praising God together and the sense of unity and transcendence that comes about through this. 

The film shows that this can be true in a secular setting too.  It reminds me of the film  Chariots of Fire, when Eric Liddell, the devout Olympian runner, says he feels the pleasure of God when he runs.

So the women, even if they don’t see God’s hand in it, experience something special as they sing together.

An Authentic And Tender Feel

Although the film is very predictable and nothing in the plot comes as a surprise, it has an authentic and tender feel. The portrayal of the characters and excellent acting make it an enjoyable ride with an exciting finale. 

The film does shine a light too on the hardships of those wives left behind in these bleak military camps, which one can too easily forget about.  At the end, we learn that the success of that first choir spurred many others to start, and there are now 75 military wives choirs around the world.

The film ends on a very heart-warming note, as we see snapshots of all these choirs, large and small,  round the world. These serve as a reminder that individuals can make a difference to better the lives of their fellow men and women.  

Let’s thank God for Gareth Malone and those military wives who began it all.

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