This year’s edition of the Oscars has some tough competition for the Best Picture Award. This movie gave me another unforgettable experience ! It is true that war movies are becoming more of the same, mostly setting in World War II for more favorable criticism, however in this war flick, it is located in the aftermath of the WWII ( when the USA was in conflict with Japan ) making it a little more refreshing.
So, basically, the story is about an American army medic, Desmond Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa and that refused to go to war to kill people, becoming the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a single shot.
Another true story, the narrative was well put together with great plot development, granting even the Oscar for Best Film Editing. Besides this exceptional aspect, the director Mel Gibson proved again why once he steps behind the cameras, he does amazing pieces of art. It happened with “Braveheart”, “The Passion Of Christ”, “Apocalypto” and now “Hacksaw Ridge”. The vision he has for every film works so good that I seriously think that he will win the Best Director Award this year.
In relation to the characters, the typical Gibson protagonist is an underdog hero that can outstand everything and the Doss character despite seeing a lot like them, Andrew Garfield gave a different perspective to this type of character. He “created” a person that despite all the dragging down from the familiars and even the military, he feels like he has to do it, he reacts in a confident way to every obstacle that is imposed in his way, stays true to his beliefs and struggles in an unbelievable manner. In addition, the appearances from Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Sam Worthington, Vince Vaugh and even Hugo Weaving helped the story to get richer in terms of the plot and the character development. Although, Vince Vaugh was the one that most impressed me, being known by his comedic roles, he takes this serious part and does a surprising job by building an opressor but friendly funny character ( not in an exageratting way ).
Moving on, the soundtrack is very good giving the context of war, creating that environment of fear and intensity. It’s not for nothing that it is also nominated for the Oscars for Best Sounds.
Now, the action or better put, the warfare moments were as realistic as possible, putting together a genuine atmosphere of gore and sadness too. The number of soldiers that are hit, injured, desmembered and blown to pieces are showned in a shocking way ( gave me “Saving Private Ryan” flashbacks ). Also, Mel Gibson is a master when it comes to making these type of scenes, so you can expect the reality of being a soldier.
Regarding the true story itself, just like “Lion”, this is another beautiful story, but while the first was about determination and belief, this one is about courage and heart that is projected in only one person that with no gun training and alone in a war zone, he drags every single soldier that is hurt to the safe zone, risking his own life for all of them. This are the true heroes of not only the US, but the whole world !
The only issue that I had with the film was really the over use of war movies regarding almost the same time settings, with the same cliches and plot elements. Nonetheless, gladly this one manages to get new principles into that theme.
Concluding, this war flick is another truthfull representation of the huge conflicts and consequences that this hostile environment made itself feel not only on the pride of the countries but Man itself. A true story that saw the repercussions of that same hostility on the bloodshed that it characterizes every war. The sanity doesn’t exist after you lived war and this situations are seen in the honest interviews in the credits scene where the “real Desmond Doss” and the other soldiers told how it was to live in those surroundings and see all that death, always sensing that their final moment could be next.
What did you think of this movie ? Did you liked Andrew Garfield’s performance ? What about Mel Gibson’s work ?
Nominated for : Best Picture, Best Actor In A Leading Role ( Andrew Garfield ), Best Directing ( Mel Gibson ), Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
I rate : 8,1 / 10