Starring: Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaugn, Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer
Director: Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson directs this true story of a man, Desmond Doss (Garfield), who signed up to fight in WWII, but who could not carry a gun under religious principles.
It’s a remarkable story, as the first half we see how hard he has to fight to be accepted and to stay in the military, and in the second half, we are confronted with the truths of war: the violence, the inhumanity, the fragility of human life. It’s a beautifully shot film, with beautiful and often shocking imagery, and it has a lot of heart. It feels like such an innocent film about war, in that it’s about doing what’s right, about not fighting, in a time when we are so used to violence, both in the news and in TV shows and movies. In that sense, perhaps it’s quite a bold film.
For me, watching it, knowing that large parts of it were shot in Australia, I saw many familiar faces, and picked up the odd accent slip, which was a little extra heart warming for me.
On the whole, it’s rather a lovely film, other than the parts where people are getting blown up, some of them people you might actually like. And it’s a pretty amazing story about a gentle and peaceful man, doing his bit. But, well… because of the nature of the story, it’s all a bit cheesey at times, there’s a strong dose of schmaltz here that might not please everyone.
See It If: you like your war films to be heart warming rather than gritty. This is no Platoon or Apocalypse Now.