Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
Dir. Mel Gibson
R / 2h 19m / Drama, History
Academy Award Winner (2017) – Best Achievement in Film Editing
Academy Award Winner (2017) – Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
While everybody else is taking life, I’m going to be saving it.
Hacksaw Ridge truly came out of left field for me considering that I don’t like Mel Gibson, I’m not overly enthusiastic about Andrew Garfield, history / war movies put me to sleep, and I’m an atheist. I agreed to watch this with my husband because he framed it as “a pacifist that enlists in WWII that won’t touch a gun and still leaves with a medal of honor.”
Well it turns out he’s really only kind of a pacifist, he’s a Seventh Day Adventist, and he has an enormous will to serve but his religious beliefs bar him from taking life. I support the last half of that.
Garfield portrays a charming Desmond Doss throughout this true tale of a man torn between his world and his eternal life. Probably, the reason why I became so emotionally invested in this particular history / war movie (something I’ve never done before) is because Mel uses half of this film deeply investing in Doss and his character development. I fell in love with his accent, his love for Dorothy, and, yes, even his morals. He became precious. He became someone I wanted to protect.
After all that, the second part of the film frames the Battle of Okinawa and it tore me apart. I was glued. I was tearing up. I felt like I was watching my son on that screen – and I was swelling with pride. When the credits rolled and footage of the real Desmond Doss was shown I cried harder than I did when Baymax came back online at the end of Big Hero 6. This man and his story really and truly touched me.
There are definitely some total Mel scenes in there that are cringe worthy but overall Hacksaw Ridge was magnificently and beautifully done. Andrew Garfield gave a much stronger performance than Casey Affleck who took home the Oscar for best Actor this year and the plot and progression was much more intriguing and rewarding than that of Moonlight.
I will never say this again but Mel Gibson was robbed.