“All Quiet on the Western Front” (2022) / Z-View
All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
Director: Edward Berger
Screenplay: Ian Stokell, Lesley Paterson, Edward Berger based on the novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Stars: Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch
Paul Bäumer (Krammerer) is about to graduate high school when he and his classmates hear a rousing patriotic speech about joining the service. Paul and his friends enlist thinking that the war will be over soon and they’ll come back heroes. They will learn how wrong they are… if they survive.
Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…
All Quiet on the Western Front is based on Erich Maria Remarque’s anti-war novel of the same name. Written in 1929, it was banned when the Nazis took over Germany. All Quiet on the Western Front has been adapted three times. Twice for feature films and once for television. It’s a timeless story about the harsh realities of war.
This 2022 adaptation is excellent. It won National Review awards as one of the Top Five Foreign Language Films and for Best Adapted Screenplay. It won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling as well as Best Visual Effects in the European Film Awards.
All Quiet on the Western Front contains powerful, tense scenes of war that are heightened by quiet moments before and after the carnage. There are scenes that will stay with you. For me, one of the most telling is when the new recruits are unknowingly given uniforms taken off dead soldiers. The bullet holes having been sewn together by scores of women at sewing machines.
It’s also a sad comment when young soldiers on both sides are in the elements with little to eat, fighting the weather as well as each other. Meanwhile diplomats and high ranking soldiers are getting the best food and amenities as they argue the terms of surrender. Then when an agreement to end the war at 11:00 is reached, one power-hungry commander orders his soldiers to make a last minute attack that will cost many, many lives but have no positive outcome to the war.
If I was to nitpick, I might say that All Quiet on the Western Front was a bit long, but not long enough to kill my enjoyment of it.
All Quiet on the Western Front earns 4 of 5 stars.