Monday, July 21, 2014

FORGOTTEN GEM? Company K (2004)

            “Company K” is a WWI movie based on a novel by William March.  March serialized his semi-autobiographical accounts in a magazine from 1930-32.  It was published in book form in 1933 and hailed as a landmark in American war literature.  The novel is unusual in that it is a series of 113 vignettes involving a Marine company.  March had been a Marine on the Western Front.  He is represented by Pvt. Joseph Delaney (Ari Fliakos) in the movie.  He is trying to exorcise demons by writing a book about his and his mates’ experiences in the Great War.  In particular, Delaney is haunted by the death of a nonthreatening German.

                The movie is difficult to summarize because it is very episodic in nature.  There is no plot to speak of.  Some of the vignettes are interesting and some are not.  Most hammer the anti-war theme.  For example, in one episode a soldier sees Jesus in no man’s land at night and says:  “Damn it, you should be ashamed.  How long will you let this go on?”  The most significant sequence involves the execution of some German prisoners.

                I do not even know if this movie even appeared in theaters.  It is very low budget and it shows.  The acting is poor because you get what you pay for.  None of the actors make an impression.  This is the only movie Fliakos has made.  The technical aspects are what are to be expected.  The sets look like they are recreated trenches.  There is no mud.   The soundtrack is poor.  Unfortunately, there is little action even of a campy nature.  One interesting thing about the film is it was rated R for absolutely no reason.  There is no bad language, no nudity, and no graphic violence.

                In conclusion, read the book instead.


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