It’s contrary to the movie’s spirit to judge Bert, but the evasive treatment of his wartime experiences plays like a dodge: His past exists as a kind of amorphous trauma, reduced to shorthand in shamelessly placed flashbacks.
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The story’s underlying message has ended up more relevant than the film-makers can ever have anticipated.
Told briskly and with an unapologetic determination to yank at the heartstrings, The Keeper unfolds like the Great Escape meets the Match of the Day goal of the month highlights.
It’s a really watchable film, more substantial than most sports movies and many postwar dramas.
It’s an old cliché about biopics that if the story wasn’t true, you probably wouldn’t believe it. The Keeper takes it a step further: you know it’s true and you still don’t believe it.
This isn’t an A-picture, either behind the camera or in front of it. It plays like a competent TV film, lacking the polish or “names” of a “Downton Abbey,” but good enough to work.