Cert: 15 Runtime: 139 mins Director: Mel Gibson Cast: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer, Rachel Griffiths and Vince Vaughan
I don’t know how I’m going to live with myself if I don’t stay true to what I believe.
Mel Gibson a man cast into the abyss over 10 years ago has made his triumphant return to cinema. Hacksaw Ridge sprung as an award season favourite, originally I had no interest but Andrew Garfield’s recent comeback has grabbed my attention. So what is Hacksaw Ridge about? Scarred by childhood experiences with his alcoholic WWI veteran father (Hugo Weaving), devout Seventh Day Adventist Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) resolves never to touch a gun. This proves something of a challenge when he enlists in the army to fight in WWII. As a conscientious objector, Desmond insists on his right to serve as a medic. But he’s bullied by his unsympathetic comrades, who consider him to be a coward. His greatest test comes during the notoriously bloody Battle of Okinawa.
Aside of the inspiring story of a selfless medic, this movie is convincewing on many levels. The acting is authentic and emotional. Especially the main character portrayed by Andrew Garfield has a lot of sympathetic charisma. His father and war veteran portrayed by Hugo Weaving shows us a torn character who is brutal and depressive on one side but also honest and determined to help his son during his trial no matter what. Another great character is the main character’s wife Dorothy Schutte played by Teresa Palmer who convinces as a selfless, faithful and elegant young woman who loves her husband for all the right reasons. One must point out the movie’s epic cinematography. The costumes and settings are authentic and unpolished. The last third of the movie shows us quite brutal, graphic and gripping battle scenes that truly show us the horrors of war. These scenes are not gratuitous, melodramatic or overwhelming, they are just as close to reality as it gets. These intense scenes kept me on the edge of my seat. Another element I liked is the balance between wide shots to capture the horrors on the battlefield and the close-up to capture the emotions on the faces of the injured soldiers in the last forty-five minutes or so of the movie.