Paul Bettany is now synonymous with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Most Marvel fans know him as the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Avengers Assemble, Iron Man 3 and Avenger: Age of Ultron.
He later began portraying the role of Vision in the films, before appearing in the standalone Disney+ show WandaVision alongside Elizabeth Olsen garnering immense praise. However, Bettany is much more than the Mind Stone-guarding synthezoid made of vibranium. He has a vast filmography across cinema and the silver screen.
The English actor was born to a thespian family. Bettany first made his stage debut in the West End revival of An Inspector Calls before making his debut on a BBC production of Oliver Twist as Bill Sykes. After a few small gigs, Bettany came to the attention of the British audience with Gangster No. 1 before entering the mainstream with his role in Brian Helgeland’s adaptation of Chaucer, A Knight’s Tale.
Following his success, he appeared in several films, namely A Beautiful Mind, Dogville, Master and Commander The Far Side of the World, The Da Vinci Code, Wimbledon etc. However, the actor once starred in a pretty jarring and powerful war film which is underrated and deserves to be watched.
Directed by Saul Dibb, the 2017 British war film Journey’s End is the fifth adaptation of the eponymous 1928 play written by R.C. Sheriff. Starring Paul Bettany, Asa Butterfield, Sam Claflin, Tom Sturridge, Toby Jones, Stephen Graham and others, the film recounts the tragedy and horrors of war.
Set on the Western Front in April 1918 during the First Worl War, the film revolves around the British forces bracing themselves against the German spring offensive. Led by a jaded, alcoholic, disillusioned Captain Stanhope, a new Lieutenant is seen joining the ranks. Assigned to his first mission, the young boy encounters the horrors of war while losing those dear to him and grappling for survival.
One of the most powerful and harrowing war films ever made, Journey’s End records the brutality of warfare while conveying its anti-war message. Bringing in the complexity of the characters via various perspectives and class differences, the film upholds the spirit of Sheriff’s play and is pretty moving.
The bleak atmospheric tension along with Claflin, Bettany and Butterfield’s extraordinary performances, makes the film intense, realistic and evocative.
Watch Journey’s End on Netflix now.