All Quiet on the Western Front is a World War One film released in 2022 that was a remaster of a 1970s film and the original 1929 book written by Erich Maria Remarque. Overall the film was long but not overly drawn out as you really get drawn into this world. The first 40 minutes of the film are a masterclass in world-building and establishing the world in which these German soldiers are being dropped in. The harsh reality of the Great War becomes apparent as these enthusiastic recruits meet grisly deaths that are worse by surviving through many more horrors of the war.
The intro of the film shows the German point of view in which young German boys are indoctrinated to join the war through propaganda, “We in the future”, know this will not be a successful venture for them but this knowledge is juxtaposed with the enthusiasm that the kids are invigorated with. Following their enlistment to join the front lines where they are checked in and given uniforms, the first sign of their ill-fated journey where an officer tears a nametag and discards it into a pile of similar name tags of fallen men.
The film does everything in its power to put the viewer into Paul Baumer’s (Richard Thomas) shoes and live the war as though they were there. This was done through the profound imagery on screen and through detailed sound engineering. The images presented in the film were gory and put forth a depiction of war that brings to life the real horrors of an all-out world war in a way that very few directors would in the way that Edward Berger, who also directed All my Love and Jack, did.
Along with the sound engineering, the sounds and score were done very well and really sent this film into notable proportions. The Led Zeppelin-inspired theme was used throughout the entire film to capture key moments. The pitch and speed were changed to adapt to the current situation in the film; it is used to create tension or anchor the film at points. The audio is one of the key elements in the film even used in the promotional content in which Volker Bertelmann, the composer for the film stated, “Edward [Berger] said to me he wanted to have a score from me that I’ve never done before… He wanted to have something destructive in the music and he wanted to have some snares that were played by somebody who can’t play the snares.”
The film accordingly was nominated for 9 academy awards including best picture, and International feature, and was a BAFTA winner. Anyone interested in immersion action films must check this film out on Netflix.
Written by Culture Editor hector