Plot via IMDB
A young German soldier’s terrifying experiences and distress on the western front during World War I.
All Quiet on the Western Front, Germany’s official Oscar submission, echoes not only its Erich Maria Remarque source novel, but Sam Mendes, 1917, another World War I film. This is the first German language version of Remarque’s 1929 novel . Its was banned under Nazi rule due to its anti war sentiments .
Like 1917, Quiet opens in 1917. The German lead (Felix Kammerer) could be a visual twin to 1917’s American star George MacKay. Both are blonde blue-eyed boys.
Both feature muddy trench warfare, misery, visceral violence, and frequent one shot long takes of recruits running through corpse strewn battlefields. Both are anti war films that ironically, have a fetish for filming war’s violence.
The main difference is that Quiet has a more muted, almost newsreel color scheme. 1917’s vibrancy punches you in the face. Of course, red and brown, blood and mud are its dominant tones. Quiet has more quiet actorly moments and contemplative scenes, more chances for the audience to catch its breath and recollect themselves before the next big war scene.
German director Edward Berger, working from a screenplay he co-wrote with Lesley Paterson and Ian Stokell tries to open up the narrative of Remarque’s novel. He inserts a loosely based on fact subplot about the armistice negotiations that ended the war. It takes the form of a debate between hawkish military officers, embodied by Devid Striesow, and more pragmatic politicians trying to negotiate an armistice, including the real-life character of Matthias Erzberger (Daniel Brühl), here portrayed as a peacenik motivated by the death of his son.
The contrasts between officers and soldiers are stark and sometimes obvious: soldiers slurp filthy, coffee-colored water out of a bucket on the front line, while diplomats and generals sip espresso from demitasses back home.
A much more powerful statement on the futility and horror of war occurs in the scene in which Paul encounters and kills a French soldier at the bottom of a bombed-out crater. It’s a ghastly, drawn-out episode — faithful to the book. It’s all the reminder anyone needs that war is a nasty, brutish business where nobody, not even the victor, truly wins.
All Quiet in the Western Front gets a 4 out of 5 or an A-.
Directed byEdward BergerScreenplay by
- Edward Berger
- Ian Stokell
- Lesley Paterson
Based onAll Quiet on the Western Front
by Erich Maria RemarqueProduced by
- Malte Grunert
- Daniel Dreifuss
- Edward Berger
CinematographyJames FriendEdited bySven BudelmannMusic byVolker Bertelmann
Amusement ParkDistributed byNetflix
- September 12, 2022(TIFF)
- October 28, 2022(Netflix)
Running time147 minutes
Countries Germany, United States
FrenchBudget $20 million
Leave a Reply