The Officer's Ward (2001) torrent download

The Officer's Ward


Drama / Romance / War



The first days of WWI. Adrien, a young and handsome lieutenant, is wounded by a piece of shrapnel. He will spend the entire wartime at the Val-de-Grâce Hospital, in Paris. Five long years, and his life will change forever...


François Dupeyron

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by writers_reign 9 /10

Chamber Of Horrors

World War One has been enjoying something of a vogue recently and not least in French Cinema, which on balance is currently the best in the world. Only a couple of years ago we had the superb Les Ames Grises and a couple of years before that Francois Dupeyron adapted a best-selling novel into this wonderful movie. Following a brief scene-setting sequence in which the leading man, Eric Caravaca, is shown to be flawed, he is badly wounded whilst on a recce to find a suitable spot to build a bridge. The ordinariness of this - as opposed to wounds sustained in actual combat - serves to accentuate his terrible facial injuries which are so bad that for the next hour of screen time we see only the reactions of others rather than a head-on shot of his face. The pace is slow, stately even and none the worse for that although they'll give it short shrift in the Multiplexes, and Dupeyron succeeds in drawing us in to this singular world where eventually Caravaca is joined by three other officers with similar wounds. The acting is beyond praise but then so it should be with actors of the caliber of Sabine Azema, Andre Dussollier, Denis Podalydes and relative newcomer Gregoire Derangere who has since done sterling work in Bon Voyage, L'Equippier and Le Passagere d'Ete. As anti-war statements go this belongs right alongside La Grande Illusion, Paths Of Glory, All Quiet On The Western Front, in other words, amongst the cream.

Reviewed by chrissoda100 8 /10

utterly compelling

The Officer's Ward is compelling insight into the horrors of The Great War which will have you rivetted to the screen.

Eric Caravaca is the engineer in the French army who's face is badly disfigured by a bomb blast at the outset of the First World War.

Destined to spend the rest of the war in a Paris hospital where doctors attempt to reconstruct his face, the film focuses on his thoughts, experiences, relationships with other patients in a similar situation, and his struggle for acceptance by his family and society.

Where in the wrong hands the film could have ended up a soppy and sentimental mess, Francois Dupeyron handles proceedings with sensitivity, dignity, and not does not rely on the initial extent of his injuries for shock value. We don't see his face for nearly an hour into the film, so the only indication as to the extent of his injuries is from the reactions of the hospital staff.

Good performances all round, and a stirring condemnation of warfare, and salute to the power of the human spirit

8 out of 10

Reviewed by jandesimpson N/A

An oustanding French literary adaptation

Having found so much recent French cinema disappointing, I am always pleased to record the discovery of something really fine. Although "The Officers' Ward" belongs to the category of lengthy literary adaptaions, it is infinitely better than examples such as "Germinal", "Les Destinees Sentimentales" or the much hyped Pagnol films which I found particularly over-rated. An anti-war film dealing with facial disfigurement incurred in time of conflict, it chronicles one man's pain and his long period of adjustment to the way he physically presents to the world. In a sense his wound is inflicted not so much by being engaged in battle (he is on a reconnaissance sortie) but by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The other irony is that in the few scenes when we get to know the officer, Adrien, before his injury, he is presented in a none too sympathetic way as a rather boorish and selfish womaniser. In a way his disfigurement offers him a chance of redemption and it is his journey towards this state that gives the film its considerable power. Not that the end result is perfect: there is rather too much concentration on peripheral detail. What is in essence a chamber film is too often broadened out to encompass for example the grand sweep of the journey of the injured from the field to the hospital or to comment on the social injustice of the special treatment of the officer class compared with the rank-and-file. Perhaps too much concentration on conveying atmosphere, however beautifully done, detracts from what in the hands of a director as austere as Bresson for instance would have been an undoubted masterpiece. Nevertheless there is sufficient in Francois Dupeyron's work to assure it a place among the "top ten" of its year, the skill for instance with which the director only allows us imagine what Adrien must look like by observing the reactions on the faces of those who see him, so that by the time half-way through that we are actually given a glimpse we know exactly what to expect as we did in the case of "The Elephant Man". That and two wonderfully moving scenes, one where the three disfigured patients in the officers' ward, who until then have suffered in their own private worlds, suddenly become aware of each other and another where Adrien on his release into the the outside world manages to transform a little girl's fear at his appearance into something approaching fun by making their encounter in a train into a game. In moments such as these the film touches greatness.

Read more IMDb reviews