#REVIEW: “HACKSAW RIDGE”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
The topic of war consumes majority of the news all over the world. The subject is never a positive one and has a major impact not only on the people directly involved, but on the world as a whole. It seems as if war is something that will never end because it’s complete chaos. People are seeking refuge, being taken from their families, and soldiers and innocent civilians are dying everyday. So in the world we live in today, a Film with a positive war story like Hacksaw Ridge is dearly needed.
The Film is based on the true story of Pfc. Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield) who served the United States as a medic during World War II. It follows Doss’ defining moments as a child that led to his pacifistic beliefs. When he feels the need to serve his country he decides to enlist as a medic, because instead of killing he would be aiding those wounded. When he’s told to train with a rifle and refuses, Doss becomes ostracized by those in his unit. It’s not until he saves 75 men in the Battle of Okinawa, unarmed, that his comrades see him as one of their own. Doss went on to be the first American solider awarded the Medal of Honour without ever be armed.
Andrew Garfield is mesmerizing as Doss. There’s something about him that’s both docile and commanding. He has a presence that is rarely seen in cinema but is perfect for this role. He plays Doss with ferocity for his beliefs, all the while being compassionate to others’ principles. Garfield doesn’t act the part, but becomes it. The empathy he feels for the Private covers and then devours him, leaving the audience to watch in amazement. The supporting cast is just as good. Teresa Palmer, who plays Dorothy Schutte, is Doss’ love interest and future wife. The very complex mix of pain and strength Palmer bounces back and forth between is made to look effortless. Vince Vaughn is seen like never before playing the very headstrong but secretly understanding Sergeant Howell. Sam Worthington creates a one note character into the three dimensional human Captain Glover was. And Luke Bracey plays Smitty, the one soldier who hated Doss for his pacifistic beliefs but ended up being the closest one to him. The entire cast is stunning to watch and make a War Film so much more than what we’re used to seeing.
Mel Gibson has once again proven he’s a great director. With a subject like Doss they’re so many important moments, not including his time at war, that made him who he was. Gibson could’ve easily made a war film, but instead he made a biographical drama that has war scenes in it. Gibson knows it’s just as important to understand why Doss has and is passionate about his beliefs, as what he did during his time at war. Yet, when the war scenes come, every moment is just as beautiful to watch as Doss was himself. Whether you’re watching two brothers fight in their front yard or you watch Doss lower bodies from Hacksaw Ridge for medical attention; there is not an unimportant moment in this Film.
Elevation Pictures release Hacksaw Ridge Friday, November 4, 2016.