First off, this film is beautiful. For me, it’s because it’s not overly beautiful, it doesn’t blow you out of the water. Take Girl with all the Gifts for example, or even La La Land (which I didn’t exactly love). Those films were visually stunning and someone who wasn’t even a huge fan of movies could see that. Hacksaw Ridge however, it was quietly stunning. It was real and warm in Virginia, and it was cold and very real in Okinawa. The battleground was shown as it should be – a battleground. There were bodies scattered everywhere and when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere. There were intestines lying in the dirt, legs with no torsos, men with shredded arms and legs, burn victims. This is no Marvel movie, there is blood and guts and horror in this drama. War was displayed in this film, including the effects on its surviving soldiers – coming from an 18 y/o Scottish teenager who studied wars for a few years.
That aspect was great – the only thing was that it was very much a white movie. The American forces in the 40s weren’t the picture of equality but there were more than just white soldiers. Over a million black soldiers served as did thousands of other soldiers from other ethnic groups: Japanese-American soldiers, Filipino soldiers, Puerto Rican soldiers, and many more. Also, I recognise this film was from the American perspective but I would say that kind of demonised the Japanese. Not as outright as the alt-right but it lurked behind the veil of American forces in WWII.
The best part of this film is Andrew Garfield’s performance. The accent was good and it never dropped. He made you understand why COs still fought in both wars. I’m very much a character kind of gal – if a film has boring or lacking characters I’m probably not going to be totally enamoured. I can take a pish plot or pish cinematography but only if there are good characters. Take Ghostbusters (2016). The plot was convoluted, the editing wasn’t great but the characters were great. Jillian Holtzmann and Patty Tolan are in that film maaaaaan! But anyway, he was brilliant. I almost cried. Granted I cry at nearly every film to see but Garfield’s performance in this film was something else. I wrote earlier that this film felt real. That’s what it was with Garfield’s Desmond Doss. You could understand why Doss objected so strongly and why he never picked up a gun. If anything, Garfield made it believable that someone was so dedicated to their beliefs that they would do what Doss did. Well, he did but the Andrew Garfield one I mean. “Please Lord, let me get one more, just one more.”
Overall, this film is great. Visually beautiful, such an incredible message, and all with great acting. Just watch out for the noise of bullet on helmet. It happens a lot and makes you fucking shite yourself.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The review tweet:
(also I’ll learn how to write reviews soon, all I know is how to speak myself into a hole as I describe my thoughts on a film