We Were The Lucky Ones Review: Joey King, Logan Lerman Lead Emotional True-Life Saga From World War II

The period drama follows the journeys of one family scattered across Europe as they tried to survive the Holocaust. Read our review of the first three episodes now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

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We Were The Lucky Ones

Critic's Ratings

starstarstarstarstar

3.5

History,Drama,Period

Release Date

Apr 17, 2024
We Were The Lucky Ones Review Joey King Logan Lerman Lead Emotional True-Life Saga From World War II

About We Were The Lucky Ones

Over the years, several stories of hope and survival from World War II have been explored on film and television, but none like this. We Were The Lucky Ones is based on the true story of the Kurc family from Poland that were miraculously reunited after being separated for much of World War II. Parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters were forced apart and had to survive in harrowing conditions in this historical drama. The first three episodes on Disney+ Hotstar show how the affluent Kurcs of Radom, Poland were forced apart with little hope, apart from their will to survive.

We Were The Lucky Ones: Plot

The period drama focuses on the entire family, though audiences easily identify with the two youngest Kurcs, Halina (Joey King), the go-getter and Addy (Logan Lerman), his mother's favourite. We Were The Lucky Ones begins with the family coming together to celebrate Passover before Poland is invaded by the Germans. From thereon, the series looks how each Kurc family members' path diverges as they aim to flee the persecution at the hands of the Nazis and the Soviets for their Jewish faith. Some family members enlist in the Polish army, while others who remain back in Radom see their identities and home slowly being stripped away. No matter how far they go, they are constantly aiming to make their way back to one another.

We Were The Lucky Ones: Writing and Direction

The hard-hitting series is based on Georgia Hunter's 2017 book, detailing the experiences her family went through during the war. Creator Erica Lipez stays faithful to the story and the structure of the series allows us to see the war through family member's eyes, from the parents Sol (Lior Ashkenazi) and Nechuma (Robin Weigert) to the little baby Felicia. Directors Thomas Kail and Amit Gupta also focus on the horrors of the war, from the dehumanisation of the Jewish people in Europe, and how one can lose their identity. Even now, nearly 80 years after the events of World War II, the world could learn a lesson or two from what the series has to state.

We Were The Lucky Ones: Performances

King and Lerman are remarkable as Halina and Addy respectively. The young actors go through a range of emotions as they are separated from their family, hoping to make their way back one day. King and Lerman both express their anguish in silent performances as they wait out their fates. Other notable performances include Henry Lloyd-Hughes as oldest sibling Genek, Hadas Yaron as the oldest Kurc daughter Mila, who has a difficult time with motherhood, and Eva Feiler as Bella, the girlfriend of Jakob Kurc. They are all pushed to the brink as they endure a traumatic experience. However, the one oft-putting part of the series is that all of the actors who play the Kurcs have differing accents, taking one out of certain scenes at times.

We Were The Lucky Ones: Critique

While it may be distressing to see the constant descent into hopelessness for the Kurcs as their world crumbles around them, there is also a compassionate lens from which the makers tell their story. Eventually, this is a story of endurance, faith and hope. It is also a tale of humanity and how it survives despite all the odds. The eight-episode series We Were The Lucky Ones will conclude on May 24 on Disney+ Hotstar.
End of Article

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