“Hacksaw Ridge”: A tribute to veterans


Based on the true story of corporal Desmond Doss, “Hacksaw Ridge” tells a story of how Doss saved the lives of 75 soldiers in the line of duty without harming a single enemy soldier, an amazing feat worthy of recognition. The movie commemorates the actions of America’s veterans, highlighting their honor and valor through the war.  While it took many years to develop and had to get the approval from Doss’ son, it surely delivered in every way.   

The movie starts off with the background of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), who is a conscientious objector as well as a Seventh-day Adventist.  As a result of his beliefs, he refuses to touch a weapon or take the life of an enemy soldier.  Doss’ pacifistic views initially provoke his squadmates and captain into bullying him, contributing to his struggle for the opportunity to serve as a combat medic.  

The movie paid close attention to detail, from Doss’ picturesque hometown in Virginia to gory combat in the Battle of Okinawa.  The props used by the actors were also incredibly realistic as the iconic ping of an M1 Garand resounded through the madness of combat and their costumes were as bloodstained as one would expect after an intense fight.  

The music effectively adapted to whatever was happening in the scene.  For example, it was light and warm during his childhood and during the romantic relationship with his eventual wife Dorothy Schutte (Teresa Palmer).  Later in the movie, the music took on a more ominous tone in the suspenseful moments leading up to the most intense scene in the Battle of Okinawa, the main battle in the movie, shifting to a more frantic and fast paced tempo as the battle ensued.  Near the climax of the movie, as Doss began lowering wounded soldiers down the ridge, the music began to resonate with boldness and heroism.  

The movie’s structure was well-developed as every part of it was significant in the movie’s plot as each part added details that brought the whole story together.  The beginning was successful in introducing the viewer to Doss’ early life and the importance of his beliefs, presenting the future challenges that would await him when he would enlist in the military.  Despite the battle scenes trying to accurately depict the chaotic nature of war, it was still relatively easy to spot the action and what was happening over the course of the battle.  The attention to detail in the movie blew me away as everything seemed so lifelike and made me feel as if I was witnessing the battle firsthand, sending chills down my spine and making me jump at times.  

Despite some minor mistakes in Doss’ relationship with his father and the omission of his combat involvement in Guam and Leyte prior to his heroic actions in the Battle of Okinawa, “Hacksaw Ridge” is an excellent movie that honors the sacrifices made by those who served during the Second World War.  While the movie was primarily action based, it was still historically accurate.  I did not really know what to expect from the movie but when I finished watching it, I’d say it has become one of my favorites.

Written by Austin Lam, Staff writer

Photo courtesy of http: www.imdb.com

The Breakdown

Character Development
Plot Development

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