People often forget how brutal war can be. Edward Berger brings a horrific tale of a young soldier to remind us that wars are nothing but a means to waste lives. We rarely see stories with such a raw, gritty, and harrowing take on the spoils of war, but this german historical epic war drama is a necessary story that people need to watch.
This is the third adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s famous novel about World War I, published in 1928. The first adaptation came in 1930, and the second in 1979. The latest adaptation has a bit more plot than its predecessors with some differences in its screenplay. This one might remind viewers of Sam Mendes’ recent war drama 1917, but this one doesn’t have the long one-takes or the same cinematic style as the latter.
All Quiet On The Western Front focuses on the journey of Paul Baumer, a young student who isn’t even old enough to be in the army. High on patriotic notions, he along with his friends enlist in the army. They are enthusiastic at first, getting motivated and inspired by the speeches of their instructor, but are unaware of what waits for them on the battlefield. The screenplay was penned by Ian Stokell and Lesley Paterson along with Edward Berger.
The film has a lot to offer and the viewer will find a lot to appreciate. Firstly, the visuals are spectacular. They might be hard to watch with all the blood and brutality, but they are necessary to create the right impact. The war sequences are also immaculately choreographed and executed. The long one-takes make it immersive and the sound design complements the action. The director has done a brilliant and makes the audience feel the horror that is happening on screen.
It is also well-acted. The supporting characters don’t have full-fledged arcs, but some of them do have tragic backstories or emotional moments that the viewer will relate to, or sympathize with. The Costumes and Production Design are also immaculate. The pacing might be slow but feels necessary to the story that is being told. There is also a constant tension, as there is a continuous fight for survival and also a subplot where delegates are trying to make peace.
All Quiet On The Western Front is a remarkable film-making achievement that will leave you speechless when you’re done with it. I had goosebumps myself. It uses a young boy’s story to depict how traumatic and gut-wrenching war is. The cinematography and production design will imprison you into the battlefield, which feels nothing short of hell. It is an emotional and timeless epic, that everyone should watch at least once in their lives.
Rating – 90%