Saturday, December 17, 2016

Hacksaw Ridge: Conscientious Soldier?

Mel Gibson is a great actor and a greater director. All the three movies of his that I watched were spectacular and epic and that was why I was eager to checkout his latest movie Hacksaw Ridge. Hacksaw Ridge also turned out to be a very good movie. It is the true story about a conscientious objector, a soldier who doesn't take part in war, but was influential in the taking of the Hacksaw  Ridge in Japan during World War 2.

Desmond Doss decides to join army as a medic, after Pearl Harbor attack. But due to his deep religious belief and due to guilt feelings from some childhood incidents, he refuses to  touch a weapon or harm anyone. This causes trouble for him while training because his superiors and mates feel he is weak. The movie is about how he proves them all wrong on field, when he turns to be the most courageous of all.

Hacksaw Ridge as shown in the movie.

Andrew Garfield gives a convincing performance as Desmond Doss and is well supported by a great cast. The movie is successful in engaging the viewers' interest throughout the running time. I would rate Hacksaw Ridge below Brave heart,  Passion and Apocalypto, the other Gibson directorials that I watched. But that doesn't make it an unworthy movie in any regards. It's just that other movies are so overwhelmingly crazy the way they are made and Hacksaw Ridge consciously try hard not to go overboard, but without much success. This restraint, I feel has caused some confusion in the structuring of the movie as a whole.

I loved the way war scenes are shown. In other movies, they try to stylise and organise the action to make comprehension easier. Instead, Hacksaw Ridge show the chaos of the situation on your face. It feels like you are totally exposed to the brutality and carnage that happens on screen. This helps in portraying the rescue operation by a solitary Doss more effectively.

Real Desmond Doss

Though it is about a nonviolent person during war, the movie itself is not anti-war pro-nonviolence. Doss, though averse of using weapons, supports war and destruction. He just does his part of duty towards his country by contributing in a way that he can, as a medic. If he wasn't bound by his religion which prevents him from killing, he would have taken up arms. Though the movie portrays the brutality of war, it's more a plot device than a statement.  

1 comment:

  1. This isn't exactly the genre I typically watch, but I am sure this is something my hubby would be interested in. I will definitely pass it on. Thanks for sharing.