“Hacksaw Ridge” is a beautiful, messy contradiction of a film. Directed by Mel Gibson, it tells a story of healing and faith in the midst of the bloodiest war in human history.
Based on the true story of conscientious objector, Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), this isn’t your average war film.
Doss’s tale is truly extraordinary. Despite his religious objections to violence or even touching a gun, he chose to enlist as a medic during WWII. After countless personal and legal hurtles, he was allowed to go into battle completely unarmed.
Shipped to Japan to fight in the Battle of Okinawa, he proved that you can save lives without taking any. Single handedly he save over 75 lives. While the rest of his company retreated over the ridge, he stayed helping the injured on both sides of the battle.
It’s a story that questions the contradictions of faith and war. It raises a lot of questions, but the biggest and most resounding is —what place does faith have (if any) in war?
With a lead character who does not believe in killing, you might expect the film to shy away from the violence. It does not. If anything, the atrocities committed by both sides seem that much more horrifying when contrasted with the actions of this one remarkable individual.
As Doss, Andrew Garfield portrays a man who struggles to hold on to his principles, and does so in a way free of judgement or disapproval of the actions of the soldiers around him. It’s a part that the success of the whole film hinges on, and he plays it perfectly.
It might be easy to judge this film based on its director and story, but it surprises through out. With an unbelievable but true story, beautiful cinematography, and a amazing acting to back it all up, it’s easy see why it’s amongst this year’s nominees.
…just for fun: