All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front ★★★★½

Ah yeah this is depressing

Much like the two previous adaptations, this film pulls no punches in showcasing the abstract brutality described by Erich Maria Remarque (who was actually in World War 1) in his book.

However, when removing all comparisons, this movie stands on its own. It is hopeless and bleak but through it’s direction and camerawork, it paints these scenes and scenarios in hauntingly beautiful and tragic ways.

The casting is something I want to give praise to as well. It’s often overlooked in war movies that the “men” fighting these battles are young, bright eyed children, desperate to prove themselves to the world. Which makes it all the more horrifying to watch them be mercilessly shot down, exploded into bits, crushed by tanks and burned alive. It’s even more disturbing to see them get up and do the same to the other side.

Even during the film’s calm moments, where the characters are allowed to just sit by and enjoy each other’s company over some food, you can’t escape the situation they’re in. You can’t stop thinking about how after this meal, after this talk, they’ll be right back in it and they probably won’t make it out. It’s sad

I’ve read the book so I knew how a lot of it was going to go, but that didn’t stop me from wanting so desperately for these boys to make it through and see a happier day. This was a horrifyingly brutal war and so much of it was unfair. The book showed me that, and I think this movie (if a bit overly long) will have no trouble showing the same thing to anyone who sees it

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