Hacksaw Ridge

Andrew Garfield. (AP)
Andrew Garfield. (AP)

What it's about:

The extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss, who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was wrong. As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers, wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers.

What we thought:

This weekend Hacksaw Ridge will compete with an outer-space blockbuster and a Silicon Valley adult comedy at the South African box office.

And whilst those flicks will undoubtedly pull the audience with their “easier to digest” themes and big Hollywood stars, Hacksaw Ridge is by far the underdog that’s worth the watch. 

We’ve heard many stories from WWII that have both shocked and inspired us, but the true story of Desmond Doss is one that simply had to be told on the big screen. 

It’s a heart wrenching tale that shocks to the core and has some jaw-dropping moments that feels like it should lean more towards fiction than fact, but was ultimately Doss’ reality. 

The film is also Mel Gibson’s return to the limelight after racist and anti-Semitic outbursts threw a shadow over his career. With Hacksaw Ridge the focus is solely on Gibson’s directing talents which he showcases flawlessly in this gripping true-life tale. 

But it’s lead actor Andrew Garfield that ultimately steals the spotlight in this war film that holds nothing back. 

This film does not hide or shy away from the horror that is war and Garfield takes on the brutal task without flinching. Don’t expect cut aways or fade outs when the killing starts. Hacksaw Ridge shows every grotesque detail of the nightmare that was WWII, not for entertainment value, but rather to highlight the truth of how devastating and senseless war is. 

Hacksaw Ridge will shake you to your core and will haunt you long after you leave the cinema. The film is sure to rake in the accolades during the upcoming award season and it deserves every glistening trophy it might receive. 

The film might not be an easy choice for some relaxed viewing this weekend but is definitely one you simply can’t afford not to see. 

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