Hacksaw Ridge – ☆☆☆☆☆
Director: Mel Gibson
Writers: Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey
Nominated for 6 Academy Awards
Summary: The true story of WWII Army Medic Desmond Doss, who saved seventy five lives in the midst of the Battle of Okinawa, without firing a single shot.
A story like Hacksaw Ridge certainly isn’t made to be an easy watch, and a good film about war is usually the hardest to watch. Personally, I’ve never seen many war films due to finding them emotionally draining, however given it’s Academy Award status, and truthfully, it’s captivating trailer, I thought I’d have to give this one a go.
Andrew Garfield is seen in a new light to me in this film, his portrayal of Desmond Doss is nothing short of youthful energy as we follow the story of a heroic Army medic who proves himself to all who doubted him, and you find yourself attached to this man from the beginning. Combined with the intricate close-up shots, every emotion can be felt simply through a flash of Garfield’s eyes, whether it’s love, happiness, or complete despair; furthermore justifying his rightful place in the best actor category.
Apart from the occasional side-eye view of some fairly gruesome scenes, I found myself immersed in this story, hardly ever taking my eye off the screen. The camera work practically takes you into the horror of a battlefield, and immersing the audience in the true definition of the ongoing chaos, it’s brilliant execution has you feeling terrified, tense and absolutely shaken, and I’ll admit, there are numerous times I’ve found the tears flowing.
For fear of giving too much away, I simply add that the symbolism in this film is brilliant, which paints the character of Desmond Doss in a heroic light. The story of Hacksaw Ridge shows war for what it truly is; absolute relentless carnage, where death has no mercy anyone. It took me a while to shake off the haunting feeling you’d get after watching something like that, but I think the very fact I’ve felt this way says a lot about the power of this film.