Hucksaw Ridge talks about a committed American peace-monger combat medic who refuses to carry a weapon as he feels it is against his ethics. But he still wants to help his nation at the battlefield as a medic. Yes, it is a biography and we are talking about the heroic combat medic Desmond T. Doss. He became the 1st man to be awarded the Medal of Honor without even firing a single bullet or killing a person.
It is a period film which talks about one historical episode that took place during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II. Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), a youngster who is very much in love with a girl, takes a decision to serve his nation on the battlefield. Using a weapon or killing people is against his ethics, so how do you win a battle without killing? Desmond shows that it is not always about killing your opponent, but you could also become unassailable by protecting your ally during the toughest situations.
People were against his ideas but he never gave up and always stood for what he believed. When the going gets tough the tough get going. True to this statement, he had proved his worth during a crunch situation that not many could have done.
The initial half talks about his moral values and his struggles in the military camp while the latter half occurs mostly on the war field that offers some of the brutal and intense battle scenes ever made.
The images that you are shown are riveting and frightening at times. It makes you feel that you are under siege with the combatants. It is savagely beautiful, thanks to shocking and unforgettable visuals from Simon Duggan’s camera that evokes the claustrophobia and clamor.
Stunt team deserves as much credit as anyone else; the fights are gripping and spectacular. Rupert Gregson-Williams is the man in charge of the music department which looks fitting and to the point. It travels with the film and never looks to hinder the narration.
Director Mel Gibson is a master when portraying the emotions. He does no less here and gives us an emotional yet riveting experience. But on the downside, the film gets a little cheesy and overdramatic towards the end. His heroic transition could have been less cinematic.
Moreover, Desmond stands for peace but the film largely glorifies violence. Apart from one scene where he treats ailing opponent soldier, the real peaceful side of him has not been shown much. The latter part only has violence which may be crowd pleasing and also helps to establish the gutsy and fearless side of Desmond but it mellows down the principle that he stood for.
On the whole, it is an emotionally gripping and unsettling film. It will be an overwhelming experience if you are a fan of war films that are made in cinematic style.