The film touches on the loneliness, fear, desperation, and chaos of World War I
One by one the boys begin to fall. In World War I, Germany advances deep into France. German soldier Paul Bäumer marches into the front line with his dream of becoming a hero. But he and his friends will soon discover the endless horrors and the futility of the “glorious war.”
Geek Rate: Sun god Worthy (4 out of 5 stars). “All Quiet in the Western Front” was a translation from its original German title “Im Westen Nichts Neues,” taken from a military report. But there’s nothing quiet in this film. Relying on vivid pictures and its musical score, the 2022 film adaptation hopes to portray the horrors of war. It did on most parts while sadly sacrificing the individual stories of its characters.
I am a fan of war films, particularly World War II stories. I did not read that many books about the Great War though, most of what I know was from the accounts of Winston Churchill’s “The World Crisis.” Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 novel lacks the in-depth information and details you can read from Churchill’s war books. For one, it is an anti-war book which, for most parts, the 2023 film adaptation successfully reflected on the big screen.
There are plenty of war films the focal point of which is the soldiers of opposing sides. Remarque’s emphasis on its characters was somewhat dimmed by the film putting a spotlight on its surroundings rather than the reality of the events. I wished it focused more on the story of its characters. Still, there were scenes in the film that leaves a mark on the audience. The horrors of a new war machine shaking the earth as it approached the front. A single gunshot inside the forest broke the peace and quiet of one snowy morning. The head of the German peace delegation Matthias Erzberger (Daniel Brühl, the lead actor in “Good Bye, Lenin!”) begged the French Marshal Ferdinand Foch and his right-hand man Maxime Weygand for an immediate ceasefire to save lives.
Not included in the book was the peace negotiation between the French and German delegations in parallel with the ongoing battle at the front. It was a stroke of brilliance that adds more drama (as if it needed more) to the scene.
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