Film Review- Hacksaw Ridge

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Age Rating

Mel Gibson


Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington, Teresa Palmer, Rachel Griffiths

The film is based on a true story about Desmond Doss, who was a conscientious objector, during the second world war. When he was younger there were a few events that shaped his outlook on life, as well as certain religious beliefs. His mother was also very religious, which would, of course, influence him. Due to his firm religious beliefs (he was a seventh-day Adventist Christian) he refused to even carry a gun yet alone use it. We get to see the kind of hardships he was put through during training and on the battlefield. As you can imagine, there was a lot of judgement! Especially from his comrades who were hellbent on making his life at training difficult. Even after all this, he goes onto being one of the most memorable war heroes.

Overall, the acting couldn’t be faulted. Was there anything that stood out as being amazing? I don’t think so. Nothing was exceptional, no one really stood out more than others. I think a lot of the actors were able to portray what it must have been like really well. They were able to get there emotionally and really make you feel for them. Especially because it is a true story, so knowing it really happened makes you believe in their acting & truly feel for them. If anything, the actors pretending to be wounded were the outstanding performances, because you could see and feel their pain as well shock. The main character, Desmond Doss was played by Andrew Garfield and I truly feel he done the role justice. He kept it humble just as the real Desmon Doss was and the way he would have wanted to be portrayed. I think everyone played their character and their situations quite well, I don’t feel like the film really pushed anyone to their acting limits, but I’m sure it still took it out of them. War scenarios are obviously highly stressful & emotional.

Mel Gibson didn’t want to rely on visual effects, so everything except for some of the fire shots was real. Which is fantastic, after seeing the film you see why! He also used some of his own war film experiences, so while they were filming some of the fighting & charging scenes, he would shout at them. Reminding them what they were fighting for, I think this helped a lot. As you can see the determination on their faces during these types of scenes. There was also a few scenes to me that stood out as symbolic, to the story as well as Desmond’ religious beliefs. Whether this was intentional or not I don’t know, but to me they were and it worked great. The whole film was also shot in Australia, and they used a dairy pasture to film the battle of Hacksaw Ridge.


Personal Thoughts
When I first saw the trailer for the film, I instantly wanted to see it. I love any film about world war 1 & 2. I think it’s very important to remember what happened & what those men (boys) went through, I especially love true stories or films based on events that did happen. As to be expected, the film started with a little bit of a back story so you may say it started slowly. But, because of the nature of the film, I think it was important to show what they did before they got to the “field”. You need to see his humble life & childhood to really appreciate and understand why he was the way he was. I didn’t personally find it too slow, but for some of you, who are only about the war action it may be. I also think it was great how true they stuck to what actually happened out of respect to Desmond Doss. As he really did believe the true heroes were left on the field. A truly admirable man. It is a fantastic film, I think its one of the best war films I’ve seen. Just in terms of how true it is to the brutality of the second world war.


What do you think? Do fancy going to watch it, have I convinced you? What is your favourite war-themed film?

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