- Director: Edward Berger
- With: Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Daniel Brühl, Aaron Hilmer, Moritz Klaus, Edin Hasanovic
- Music by: Volker Bertelmann
- Duration: 2h28
- Based upon the novel by Erich Maria Remarque
- Platform: Netflix (as All Quiet on the Western Front)
- Rating: 9/10
The story follows teenagers Paul Bäumer and his friends Albert and Müller, who voluntarily enlist in the German army, riding a wave of patriotic fervor that quickly dissipates once they face the brutal realities of life on the front. Paul’s preconceptions about the enemy and the rights and wrongs of the conflict soon crumble. However, amid the countdown to armistice, Paul must carry on fighting until the end, with no purpose other than to satisfy the top brass’ desire to end the war on a German offensive.
World War I has never looked so realistic and so harsh, so raw and hard! This movie has nine (9!) Oscar nominations and I’m convinced it should get at least a few of those! It’s a contender for Best International Motion Picture (competing against Lukas Dhont’s Close and also against Argentina 85) and For its Soundtrack, to name a few…
Four friends decide to enlist in the German army, expecting to defend their country and achieve a certain heroism, patriotism at its best! They end up in the trenches of Belgium and/or France where the brutality and the senselessness of war becomes clear. Their beliefs and patriotic feelings diminish the longer they remain in that place of death and decay. Not the smell of success is surrounding them but that of rotting corpses, gas attacks and fear of too young soldiers fighting a war that isn’t theirs.
At the same time, in a railway carriage at Compiègne, there’s talk about armistice between German and French leadership.
Paul and his friends, and all soldiers from all sides, have to fight till the bitter end. Risking their lives for this purposeless conflict! (reminds me a lot of current events in Eastern Europe)
Millions of death… for only a few hundred metres…
As I mentioned before this is a hard and very raw movies that offers such (I hate to say it because of its subject) beautiful scenes! When you look at this movie you’re thrown right in the middle of this war… the isolation, the pain, the fear, the friendship amongst soldiers, the mourning of that camaraderie… you feel it all! Also thanks to the intense soundtrack by Volker Bertelmann. Whenever the scene gets darker there’s this musical theme in that soundtrack that gives me goosebumps… the intensity of that theme is mindblowing! (The soundtrack is available on Spotify)
The reality of the fights in the trenches is another strong point for this movie. The only war movie that got me the same chills because of its realism and intensity (I use that word often because it’s the best way to describe the allround feeling i got from it) was Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan (I will probably rewatch that one real soon)!
I’m a big fan of this movie and I’m sure it deserves to win at least a few of its Oscars!
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