Wow! Hacksaw Ridge is brilliant. Although it came out last year, I only had the pleasure of watching it for the first time the other day. An incredible true story that shows off the virtues of persistence, willpower and the power of belief. Directed by Mel Gibson and starring Andrew Garfield as the incredible Desmond Doss, Hacksaw Ridge expertly couples action and humour into an entirely meaningful and wonderful story.
In the heat of battle upon Okinawa during the Second World War, conscientious objector Desmond Doss single handedly saves the lives of 75 wounded American and Japanese soldiers, without using a weapon. Doss, born into a family traumatised by the First World War, his father a drunk, learns very quickly that violence is dangerous and has massive consequences. After an incident during his childhood Doss becomes even more religiously convicted and chooses to help people rather than fight. When war invades his relationship with Dorothy, his wife to be, Doss feels obliged to sign up and do his part like everyone else. However his desire to help people whilst refusing to carry a weapon doesn’t go down well within his barracks. Both the captain and staff sergeant pick on Doss and fight to have him gone, but his persistence and shere desire to help his country keeps him powering through the basic training. With the support of his wife and father Doss wins his battle with the US army to be allowed into battle without carrying a weapon.
His time on Okinawa is defined by his heroic and selfless actions that helped him save the lives of so many men. After a failed offensive and the American retreat off of Hacksaw Ridge, Doss remains on top of the cliff, dragging wounded soldiers through the battlefield and lowering them to the safety of the beach, each time becoming physically weaker but more driven and determined to help as many men as possible. Doss’ heroics earn him the respect of every soldier around and the much deserved Medal of Honour upon his return home.
Overall, Hacksaw Ridge is a brilliantly well filmed movie, explosive in action and emotion with some incredibly visual and moving practical and designed effects. Andrew Garfield is superb as Doss in a film that really does everything right. A great watch and very deserving of all the acclaim it received…