All Quiet on the Western Front (German: Im Westen nichts Neues) is a German epic anti-war film based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque and is Directed by Edward Berger. All Quiet on the Western Front is a Netflix-distributed film and is aired on the Netflix Streaming Service. I hadn’t heard of this movie, so I had no plan to see it until it was Oscar-nominated. After watching All Quiet on the Western Front, I felt it was well done but it was voiced over and WWI is still a dark and melancholy period in our lives.
In 1917, three years into the First World War, 17-year-old Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) enlists in the Imperial German Army alongside his school buddies, Albert Kropp (Aaron Hilmer, Franz Müller (Moritz Klaus), and Ludwig Behm (Adrian Grünewald . After listening to a patriotic speech by a school official, Paul decided to sign up even though he would have to forge his mother’s signature since he was underage. They immediately and unknowingly received uniforms from soldiers who were killed in a previous battle. After they are deployed in Northern France near La Malmaison, they are befriended by Stanislaus “Kat” Katczinsky (Albrecht Schuch), an older soldier. Their romantic view of the war is shattered by the realities of trench warfare on the Western Front, and Ludwig is killed by artillery on the first night.
This war was brutal and roughly 2,037,000 German soldiers were lost in battle. All Quiet on the Western Front is a gruesome story that follows a 17-year-old recruit, lured with propaganda who signed up thinking he would end up a hero and that Germany would win the war. From the onset, massive amounts of soldiers were killed and Paul’s dreams would be shattered forever. Everyone would die and from my point of view, war is stupid. We teach our children not to settle disputes with violence but yet we sanction war, go figure. The movie is voiced over because it was made with German dialogue. Despite the voiceover, it appeared to tell a true story of unimaginable loss and physical as well as mental detachment from society and private life. The direction, acting, and writing were brilliant, however, the story was very depressing right up to the end, which includes an egregious act that caused even more soldier’s lives. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 92% of 131 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8.4/10. The website’s consensus reads, “Both timely and timeless, All Quiet on the Western Front retains the power of its classic source material by focusing on the futility of war.” All Quite on the Western Front is not for everyone and is streaming on Netflix — Check It Out!
Watched it last night, close-captioned, so the voiceover wasn’t noticed. Gripping, so the length was not a burden either. Yet another excellent, sad testament to the horrors of war. Judging from the daily news of Ukraine, humanity is still in the trenches of WWI.
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