It didactically calls out governmental hypocrisy while exposing corrupt elements and inefficiencies within the precious institution itself. It hedges its bets politically between nostalgic keening for a kinder, fairer Britain of old and advocating for a top-down socialist makeover. It wavers tonally between cozy comedy and head-on polemic.
Eyre’s all-star cast may shine in Allelujah, but even Dame Judi Dench can’t save a film whose third act so spectacularly nosedives into “Batshit-Craziest Story Choices Ever Put On Film Hall Of Fame” territory.
This take on Alan Bennett’s pre-pandemic play, a love letter to the NHS set on a geriatric ward in Wakefield’s beloved-but-threatened Bethlehem Hospital (‘The Beth’), ticks along amiably enough for an hour or so. Then, like a hand grenade in a tombola, a harrowing third-act twist detonates beneath it and narrative and tonal destruction ensues.