Wounded Review: War Cry
WOUNDED: Wednesday 23rd September, BBC1, 9pm ALERT ME
Not for the squeamish, Wounded portrays the human cost of the war in Afghanistan from the point of view of the survivors.
We follow the victims of war from the explosions, through their surgeries and their rehabilitation.
Andrew Allen was a soldier in the Royal Irish Regiment and Tom Neathway was a paratrooper when they were injured by separate explosive devices.
Tom was the victim of a booby trapped mud hut; the explosion meant that Tom lost both his legs and his left arm. Andrew, only 19 years old, lost both his legs and his eyesight because of an IED: an Improvised Explosive Device.
This documentary doesn’t manipulate it’s audience’s emotions because it doesn’t have to. The boys’ story are naturally emotive and they don’t have an anti-war statement to make.
It’s pretty straightforward; it tells the story of Tom and Andrew’s road to recovery and doesn’t shy away from the gruesome wounds these boys have suffered.
While Tom and Andrew are in similar positions, their attitudes and reasons for recovering are different. Andrew’s girlfriend was 6 months pregnant when he was hurt and Andrew desperately wants to be there for the birth of his baby.
Tom wants to walk in prosthetic limbs for his medal parade but his challenge is greater than most as the loss of three limbs is not a common injury. Their physical therapy will take many months but the medical teams are amazingly supportive and dedicated to their patients.
Although they both have huge obstacles to overcome, Tom’s positive spirit is fantastic to watch as he continues to push himself to succeed at physical therapy.
It’s hard to believe that anyone could be so upbeat about such a life-changing experience but Tom manages to keep it together. Andrew struggles with his injuries more as the loss of his sight limits him still and puts a strain on his will to get well.
This film isn’t preachy and isn’t trying to make you feel one way or the other about war. The second part of the film which is mostly the boys rehabilitation is, for lack of a less cheesy word, inspiring.
For more on the war effort, read our review of Pray The Devil Back To Hell. Feeling political after all the war talk? Read our State of Play review!