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Web Series Review: Band of Brothers (2001)

TV ShowBand of Brothers
GenreAction, War drama, History
LanguagesEnglish
TNS Score94.6
Run-Time40-50m
No. of Episodes10
No. of Seasons1
Original NetworkHBO, Disney+Hotstar
CastDamian Lewis, Michael Fassbender, Ron Livingstone, Scott Grimes
CreatorTom Hanks & Steven Spielberg

Plot

The series revolves around the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment and the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army. The series traces their strength and struggles from 1942 till the end of the World War II. It aligns fifty portraits extracted from the archive footage. The real-life war veterans of this regiment are interviewed and narrativized.

Writing

The series brilliantly captures the essence of the time and its degradation of humanity, that the World War had posed. It narrativizes the journey of Easy Company, that went along with the true spirit of comradery. The joining of the dots and contextualising the narrative, has been done very well.

If there is a definition of ‘brotherhood,’ it has to be inspired by the spirit of a soldier. Displaying the grief of loss, there is a scene in which a soldier, Donald Malarky goes to the launderette after a battle. The woman asks him about the soldiers he might want to call upon for taking back their laundry. Malarky looks at her and is speechless. He can only talk through his expressions and tell her that they’re all dead.

Direction

The narrative has been directed very well. It’s structures, layers and personal narratives of soldiers; are beautifully and smoothly depicted on the screen. The initial scenes in which paratroopers cross the English Channel to France on D-Day; is brilliantly shot. The entire series, has flawless screenplay, direction and cinematography. It represents the comradery, strength, struggle, emotional dilemmas and every instinct of fear that a soldier goes through. 

One of the scenes in which we have a soldier, Blithe, who goes blind and is not able to make sense out of anything happening around him. A sergeant comes to him and tells him that he didn’t fight not because he was scared but because he thought he still had ‘hope,’ but in reality, he’s already dead. This scene, speaks of the broken spirituality of a man fighting in the battle he can no longer make sense of.

Performance

Damian Lewis, characterising Major Richard Winters; has done a great job. He is able to capture and present the essence of his character in bravery and fear. David Schwimmer’s characterisation of Captain Sobel has been performed very well. He successfully brings out the ambiguities and moral dilemmas of the character. All the other actors have performed brilliantly well, while characterising the soldiers of the regiment.

Conclusion

In all, the series is heart wrenching. It is able to grab our attention to the pathos and grief of a soldier, in war. Right from the first episode, the agenda is made very clear. Sitting in the comfort of our houses, we can only imagine what the battle field looks like let alone what it feels like. The series has done a fair job in assisting our imagination. It does not romanticise its subjects, but depicts them in their true glory and struggles. It’s certainly a must watch!

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