Mel Gibson’s Film: “Hacksaw Ridge” is a Must See!
This amazing WWII film deserves to be nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actors, and Best Adapted Screenplay for 2016! This unusually brilliant film is the biography of Desmond Doss, a religious American Seventh Day Adventist who joined the army to fight in the Pacific war. Yet, he refused to carry, or use a weapon of any kind. Instead, he became a medic and saved over 70 wounded soldiers [both American and Japanese] during the horrendous, bloody battle for Okinawa [Hacksaw Ridge] in 1945. Doss was the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor from POTUS Harry Truman.
This true life story compels the viewer to witness the incipient personal degradation Doss receives from his fellow bunkmates during basic training. Yet, as fate would have it, Doss saves most of these tormentors during the intense battle for Hacksaw Ridge.
Mel Gibson, the controversial movie star/director/producer, created an amazing tour de force in this independent film [small budget of $40M]. From the opening shots of an obstreperous alcoholic father, played to perfection by Hugo Weaving, Gibson moves the film at a quick, highly controlled pace leaving the viewer breathless. Gibson’s directorial genius becomes even more apparent in the denouement of a chaotic battle scene in which the viewer is overwhelmed by Doss’s personal heroism as he defies capture and death from the barbarous Japanese fighters embedded in the caves of Hacksaw Ridge.
The adapted screenplay written by Andrew Knight [Australian] and Robert Shenkkan Jr [USA, Cornell Univ.] deserves to win the Academy Award. Both men wrote a completely convincing narrative which highlighted the personal conflicts and doubts of this conscientious objector who joined the military to fight without a gun.
Andrew Garfield [US/British], the celebrity actor, who became famous by playing Eduardo Saverin in the provocative film, “The Social Network”, deserves the Oscar for the Best Actor.
Garfield portrays a humble Virginian whose basic core belief resides within the crucial tenet, “Thou Shall Not Kill.” He convincingly carries the entire film through the opening laced with bucolic days into final scenes where personal courage and obstinacy are required to save lives throughout the randomness of chaotic enemy fire. Garfield was also excellent in this year’s “Silence” by Scorsese.
The supporting cast is mostly Australian and they are all fantastic. Vince Vaughn is one of the few Americans in the film and he is convincing in his role as Doss’ sergeant.
Simon Duggan deserves an Oscar nomination for his incredible camera work, especially toward the end of the film.The film editor, John Gilbert [New Zealand], deserves recognition for editing a film that was over two hours long, yet felt just right.
This unusual movie reignites my faith in the film industry. “Hacksaw Ridge” is top-of-the-list for all kinds of film buffs. Lately,I have become discouraged by the expensive, over-produced films [6-12 pga producers listed] that lack a convincing story line, or any sense of emotional drama. This film sucked me in immediately as it depicted the moral courage of the conscientious objector. Its shows how one man can save more lives without ever using his weapon.
This film can be considered for best American or Foreign film. It was primarily funded, directed, and acted by very talented Aussies.
Mel Gibson: great work on “Hacksaw Ridge!”