Hacksaw Ridge (♦♦♦♦)

Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), raised as a practicing Seventh Day Adventist, volunteered for WWII with the condition that he was allowed to serve in battle as a medic without carrying a rifle. The Army gave him hell, tried to discharge him on the basis of being mentally unfit, he was even court martialed...In the end, he was allowed to train as a medic and was sent, as a conscientious objector, with his company to the Pacific theater.
In May, 1945, at Hacksaw Ridge, Okinawa, his company faced the Japanese and experienced heavy losses. The survivors were forced to retreat. Under the cover of navy bombardment, Doss rescued 75 injured men and lowered them with a rope over the ridge to safety.
Few movie directors do epics or war dramas as does Mel Gibson. Even fewer tackle the subject of faith in an affecting manner. Despite his run-ins with the law and his loudly proclaimed antisemitism, he knows how to make movies, and not only that, but grand movies. It was such a pity his talent was withering...Luckily, he had an active year 2016; he starred in Blood Father—a so-so action film that pleased no one but his fans—and he directed the much acclaimed Hacksaw Ridge. With this film, he returns to his directing roots in the tradition of Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ.
In Hacksaw Ridge, the battle scenes are gruesome as are the injuries, but all these serve as the tapestry on which the story of real life hero Desmond Doss unfolds. It makes for uneasy viewing, but tight editing, the right balance between tight camera shots and long distance ones, and keeping the narrative centered on the magnetic Andrew Garfield, in an inspiring, career-best performance, make this movie one of the most attractive offerings of 2016 award season.
Hacksaw Ridge was nominated to the Oscars for Best Motion Picture, Best Director, and Andrew Garfield as Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Comments

  1. I am glad to have a review from you on this one. I was on the fence, but now I think I will give it a view. Talk about gruesome, you will never believe it but I am currently rereading King Rat by James Clavell. It was published in 1962. In fact it is the next to last book on my 1962 list. Anyway, same time period and the first prison camp book I ever read.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know you won't like the war aspect of the movie, but I also know that you will like the story of Desmond Doss in the army.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I absolutely loved this movie. If the story weren't true, it would have one off as cheesy and saccharinely patriotic but the fact that such an amazing and selfless person actually existed just gives me hope for humanity.

    I have a very high tolerance for blood and violence (Rambo, 300, etc. didn't faze me) but this was so hyperreal it really got to me. That said, I think it was better to show the real horror of war (especially since this is a true story) than dress it up in Hollywood glitter. I'm not a fan of Mel Gibson on a personal level, but he sure does know how to make a great film.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you on all counts. This movie showed war horror on a vast scale, reason why Doss' actions feel all the more heroic. I particularly liked the interviews at the end of the Doss siblings and Desmond's Captain in the Army; it seems the screenplay followed their narrative very closely.

      Delete
  4. Another very interesting review and a new look for your blog. I like it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dorothy! The new look is from a three new sets of templates from Blogger. I wanted to experiment with something different.

      Delete
  5. I thought this was an amazing film! Although gorier than I usually prefer - the story of Doss was so inspiring that I got over the gore :-D

    ReplyDelete
  6. I also thought this was an amazing film. Very visceral, shocking and a bit heart stopping and with such a great story - and true! Oh my.
    Lynn :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great summary, Lynn! :-) The film was all those things.

      Delete
  7. I liked finding out about Desmond Doss, who I never had heard of before this movie. I think that he was a real person made it resonate. Also the battle scenes were vivid and well done. I agree with you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the entire movie was done well. I also liked that it is based on a true story. That angle sets the movie apart.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Kindly leave your comments and suggestions.