‘With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don’t seem like such a bad thing to me to want to put a little bit of it back together.’
Hacksaw Ridge tells the heroic true story of World War II Army Medic, Desmond T. Doss. A man who recieved a Medal of Honour because he saved the lives of 75 American soliders during the Battle of Okinawa without firing a single shot.
This film has been nominated for 6 Oscars including ‘Best Picture’, ‘Best Director’ (Mel Gibson) and ‘Best Lead Actor’ (Andrew Garfield). Every one of these nominations are so well deserved.
The story starts off with a young Desmond (Garfield) and his brother Howard, we quickly learn that these two have a strong bond however as boys tend to do, they fight a lot. The relationship these brothers have, I felt, was greatly ignored after the first 10 minutes of the movie.
The boys’ father, Tom (Hugo Weaving), is a survivor from World War I. Riddled with ‘survivors guilt’, he turns to alcohol for comfort which causes domestic violence in their home life. He is against the two boys serving in the War however against their fathers wishes, they sign up to serve anyway. Desmond enters the army as a Conscientious Objector with intent to be a medic. He woos Dorothy Schutte (Theresa Palmer) at his local hospital and promises to marry her on his first leave from the army.
During training Doss is nicknamed ‘Coward’ and faces a number of challenges in his process to be accepted into the army without passing any rifle training. We do learn the reason behind his choice not hold a gun and with the help of his father, he gains the right to enter the army as a Conscientious Objector without a single weapon to help him and once at Hacksaw Ridge, he definitely proves his worth.
Vince Vaughn has been cast as Sergeant Howell, which to me seemed slightly odd at first. I associate him with a lot of comedy films however as they film went on, he really grew into his character and it was an amazing casting choice. Andrew Garfield was phenomenal as Desmond Doss, he told the real-life story so incredibly well. Director Mel Gibson has a reputation for not shying away from violence and Hacksaw Ridge was no exception. The entire battle scene was so brutal and Gibson was not afraid to show how truly terrifying the war could be.
I loved that they included clips of the real Desmond Doss, who unfortunately passed away in 2006, in the credits speaking about the events that we had just witnessed. This film made me laugh, cry and overall feel such heartfelt emotion and I would definitely recommend it (that is coming from someone who doesn’t usually like War films).