Netflix 'The Forgotten Battle' Review: Sad tale of death and unimaginable sacrifices
Netflix just released its first Dutch movie and we're speechless. But not in a happy way but in the shocked-with-a-heavy-heart kind of way. 'The Forgotten Battle' follows the Battle of Scheldt, a lesser-known battle that holds immense importance within the sprawling World War II's historical narrative.
The Netflix movie sees the life of a Nazi soldier, a glider pilot and a hesitant Resistance recruit tragically intertwine in this tale of sorrow and death. 'The Forgotten Battle' serves as a fascinating yet sad watch as we are reminded of the atrocities of war. Here are our thoughts on the Netflix war drama.
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Spoilers for 'The Forgotten Battle'
The movie opens with the information that the Germans have been forced back and the Antwerp Port has been freed. They still occupy Scheldt, which must be liberated so that the Allied forces can move ahead. It's June 1994 where in German-occupied Normany we are introduced to Teuntje Visser (Susan Radder), the daughter of a doctor who also treats German soldiers. Her brother Dirk (Ronald Kalter) hates the Germans and throws a rock at a car, causing the German soldier to lose control and run over three fellow soldiers. He is forced to run and hide. We then see William Sinclair (Jamie Flatters), a glider pilot for the English forces. The young lad is spirited and lies to join his fellow fighters on their way to Arnhem for the liberation efforts. Also fighting the same war is Marinus van Staveren (Gijs Blom), a Nazi soldier fighting on the front lines.
As the movie progresses, we see things go wrong for all the three characters. William and his troop crash land, Teuntje's brother is revealed to be part of the Resistance and captured even as PTSD from the fights affects Marinus. What follows is a tragedy. 'The Forgotten Battle' does an excellent job of portraying the devasting reality of war as we are shown heart-wrenching scenes of the frontlines.
The scenes of dead bodies, starving soldiers and blood everywhere drill a hard truth about what soldiers have actually gone through in past wars. As we see Teuntje scramble to save her brother from guaranteed death, William witnessing his mate get shot and Marinus display the remaining shred of humanity that he hangs on to dearly, we can't help but shudder at their circumstances. Gijs Blom gives a standout performance that is emotionally wrecking as we see him exhausted in all senses of the word, just awaiting death. This story does not have a happy end — how can it when the cost of war is so great? The end of the battle signals the beginning of a much bigger move to come.
'The Forgotten Battle' is one that deserves to be as well known as other movies like Dunkirk, 1917, and more. With incredible cinematography, direction, and a haunting soundscore, the movie is a must-watch for war film lovers. The Netflix film will be a heavy watch for casual watchers and discretion is advised as a few scenes may be highly disturbing. The humane portrayal of the characters, who are each being forced to fight a war they did not declare is moving and saddening. The quote, "older men declare war, but it is the youth that must fight and die" by Herbert Hoover rings true here.
'The Forgotten Battle' is now streaming on Netflix