I am not going to lie. The main reason I decided to watch this film is my love for Lily James. And honestly, if I had decided to watch it for any other reason I believe I would have been disappointed.
Or at least this is what I thought I would think before the film actually started. Instead I was met with a terribly sad but hopeful film about an empty house, the occupation, and a medal.
The film revolves around Juliette played by Lily James, a writer who feels like she is trapped ‘in a carnival after a dark tunnel’ in post war London, dating an American man who makes her feel uncomfortable in her desire for a less busy way of life.
Mid way through the film when she reads from her Anne Bronye book, which sold a mere 28 copies globally - Juliette really comments on the key theme of the film: women’s agency and equality. Throughout Marcus does not let her finish her thoughts, pressures her with a public engagement and leaves her alone at parties where she is clearly uncomfortable. And whilst her publisher does support her he does still maintain an effort to control what she does, and what she writes about. By going to Guernsey in the first place Juliette is making her own decision on what she really wants to do. In the final scenes of the film is when this key theme shines through, with Juliette truly making a decision for herself.
I was prepared to be thoroughly disappointed by this film, and as I left the screen of 10 people teary eyed - I was happy that I had given it a chance. It is ultimately a film about the unknown and the pain caused by the war, and how the strangest things can bring people together - even a disgusting pie made entirely of potatoes.