Having watched Soldier and Me again (my second and inevitably more critical DVD viewing) a friend and I spotted a few slightly incredible aspects to the plot. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re holes, just unlikely though quite endearing coincidences.
Given that the chase covers such a wide area both in Stockport and across the Lake District, it’s highly improbable that Jim and Pavel’s pursuers could have kept such a near constant tab on them. The boys are out of reach yet curiously close at hand.
The most unlikely moment of all is Smiler boarding the same train out of town and turning up in the same carriage. His face emerging from behind a newspaper is a great ‘reveal’ moment until you stop to think about how it could have come about.
In a curious way, the ‘never too far away’ chase does fit in with Jim’s diminished, city-boy notions of the vast Lake District – if you head for a farm near a lake it’s bound to be Nichol’s farm.
Still, where would thrillers be without coincidences? It’s all exciting stuff especially when viewed through my ten year old – rather than 50-something – eyes.