Andrea’s film review – The Bombardment

The Bombardment ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

The fates of several Copenhagen residents collide when a WWII bombing mission accidentally targets a school full of children. Just released on Netflix.

This Danish film tells the harrowing true story of a day in 1945, right at the end of the war, when the RAF in trying to bomb the Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen, accidentally hit a crowded Catholic school: 99 people lost their lives, 86 of them were children.

I’m not quite sure what possessed me to watch this devastating film, just at a time when our TV screens and newspapers are filled with the most unspeakable news and images from our unfortunate neighbours in Ukraine, but if anything it’s certainly served as a reminder of the fact that we never seem to learn any lesson from the past.

This film reminded me a bit of the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas which also used the death of children to show the injustice of war.

As you can imagine, this wasn’t an easy watch.

It wasn’t graphic, but at the same time it didn’t shy away from showing the horrors of the devastation and the toll that it brought.

However when reviewing a film like this, when it’s so easy to be carried away by the tears, one should always try detached the actual subject matter from the way it was actually portrayed.

This was clearly a very powerful story and I’m sure some of the images of the grieving parents and the shocked faces of those little survivors will haunt me for a very long time, but having said that, I found the film a bit messy, unfocussed and the script slightly simplistic.

Director Ole Bornedal (who made The Nightwatch back in the ‘90s and then very little worth noticing after that), tried to cram together too many characters and plotlines in the film, particularly in the first half.

They did eventually converge together once the bombing took place, but it resulted in a film that felt rushed and in the end some of the deaths didn’t hit as hard as they should have, just like some of the changes certain characters went through felt abrupt.

Not to mention the Brits who in this film come out as little cardboard cut-out more than real rounded characters.

One storyline in particular which followed a nun losing her faith, looked like it belonged to a different film altogether.

I don’t quite believe I’m saying what I’m about to say, but it probably needed to be longer to serve justice to the story and get us invested in all the characters involved.

It’s still a heart-breaking history lesson, which should make us think twice about starting any war… If only…

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick.

The Bombardment has just been released on Netflix.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

See also: Theatre review – Running with Lions at the Lyric, Hammersmith

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here