Director and co-scripter Edward Berger offers an intimate account from enormous scale to the ‘War To End All Wars’ that may strikingly resonate to those enrapt with Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old.
His adaptation of the acclaimed 1930 film from the Erich Maria Remarque novel of the same name has a ‘timely’ and ‘timelessness’ about it as it hones in on the futility of war. A string, visceral power is on screen as a reminder of such a hopeless, bloody protracted conflict – here from 1917 through its resolution a year later even with a couple of historical hiccups.
The moniker takes on the meaning of the western front only for the dead as Felix Kammerer’s Paul is the underage portal to the adventures, motherhood and relentless brutality. Through a forged signatures on his enlistment to save The Kaiser and don the uniform of a fallen soldier captured in a stunning early depiction if the war machine.
Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds) as an observant commander and Albrecht Schuch as big brother veteran soldier ‘Kat’ provides sound support to the lighthearted, but often terrifying distress from a naive soldier’s perspective hat carriers much force and nuance through its pacifistic angle. Without going too much distinction even in a modern high-tech global landscape.