It seems common knowledge that Netflix Originals are likely good shows. Think: Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, The Get Down. However, those are series. Netflix doesn’t usually produce films, I don’t think. But then again, have you seen Beasts of No Nation? That’s probably the best Netflix Original film as of yet.
The Siege of Jadotville (2016) follows Commandant Patrick Quinlan, played by Jamie Dornan, leading a troop of 150 Irish soldiers as UN peacekeepers in the Congo during the 1960s.
My dad loves war and combat movies, and I kind of grew up watching some with him, depending on how much violence he’d allow me to see when I was younger. Eventually, I had a bit of interest on the genre, since I like the historical fiction touch of it.
I also had a little thing to get me through the bloodshed: picking a cute soldier and praying he doesn’t die in the movie (which happens 90% of the time, since they kill off the pretty ones first). I’m pretty proud to say I did not root for Mr. Grey in this film; Sniper, who was played by Sam Keeley (Misfits, Burnt) had my attention. I would have hated to see him die on that roof. Or anywhere for that matter. Gladly, by some miracle, none of the Irishmen died in combat.
These men have not seen a day of battle, and they are forced to hold back a group of 3000 mercenaries. Despite the odds, they managed to survive.
Apart from all the action, the film also showed the darker side of UN politics, which sparked the attack on Jadotville and forced the silence of the Irish soldiers after the fact. In the end, we find out that these brave men were not given any recognition for their extraordinary actions. It took 40 years before they were! Which is completely outrageous… but that is politics for you.
The side plot concerning O’Brian and the actual UN seemed underwhelming, compared to the intensity of the fight Quinlan was facing. I had expected a bit more from Mark Strong and Michael McElhatton.
The film is decently entertaining, and it doesn’t fall short of expectations I have for a Netflix Original. I’d recommend it if you have a subscription and a couple hours to spare.