I have just bawled my way through 1.53 hrs of the film, “Military Wives”. It’s a simple story. A group of women form a choir and sing – badly at first but they get so good that they end up at the Albert Hall. The women are all married to British soldiers who have been sent to fight in Afghanistan. In terms of action, an aborted knitting group and a night at the Karaoke are possibly the most energetic scenes but if you want something to explain why women hold the world together, this is your film. It is funny and it is all about relationships. I have a friend in the UK who is a military wife. I met my friend, oh, let’s give her a name, Plushy, before she met her husband. She is more the age of my children than me but we took to each other like vegemite to toast. Her mother was from New Zealand and Plushy became my interpreter for all things British. “Help!!! I’ve been invited to tea – am I going to afternoon tea with cakes and fancy plates or is it tea tea where you eat real food?” is an example of the sort of question she had to answer on a regular basis. We rolled out of bars and onto trains, did tea at the Ritz and we laughed. A lot. When I first met her she had recently purchased a flat and though the boyfriend situation was a little disappointing, life was ok. Then she met the soldier. Plushy had been an Army Nurse and served overseas. That was the past but it had given her enough insight to know the last thing she wanted was to marry a soldier. She fought it like one fights a boa constrictor around the throat but all the logic in the world was defeated by a 6 foot something, blond soldier whose previous love interest had been a tank. Then he was sent to Germany and every second Friday was a James-Day with either a quick trip to the continent or a cosy weekend at home. Before too long my husband and I were at a little stone church at Hatfield watching her willingly re-enlist. Since then I’ve visited her in mid-level base housing (dependant on the rank) and now in ‘Up the top’ base housing and all of it is exactly the way it was in the movie. So I watched and I cried and I laughed and I thought of the children at boarding schools, of tours that didn’t involve sight-seeing, of the meetings of this prince and that and the silent support between the two of them that only grows stronger each time I see them. The film stood on it’s own as does my friend. It is funny and warm and sad and hopeful and just the sort of story you want to see if you’re a woman in need of reassurance that without us the world would go tits up.
I give the film 4 stars and Plushy my Military Wife, gets 5.