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“All Quiet on the Western Front,” the film adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s popular anti-war novel, earned 9 nominations at the 2023 Academy Awards. Edward Berger’s film tells a gripping story with top-notch performances and captivating cinematography, a heart-wrenching reminder of the war.

Director:Edward Berger
Players:Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Daniel Bruhl, Sebastian Hülk, Aaron Hilmer, Edin Hasanovic and Devid Striesow
Duration:147 minutes
Subject:The anti-war drama is about German soldier Paul Baumer, who has to face the brutal realities of war.

Oscar nominations for All Quiet on the Western Front
Best Movie
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best International Film
Best Cinematography
Best Original Soundtrack
Best Production Design
Best Visual Effects
Best Makeup and Hair Design
• Best Sound

German soldier Paul Baumer, while the war around him is in full swing; He’s sitting in a muddy crater with his head in his hands, in uninhabited land. He brutally stabbed a French soldier lying nearby, panting as blood filled his lungs. Baumer has been engaged in the First World War for 18 months, but suddenly he has compassion for the enemy and wants to help the nearly dying man. He finds a picture of the French soldier’s wife and daughter in his bloody coat and bursts into tears.

But this is not an enlightenment that changed him. Although the incident injured him, we later see Baumer (with soulless eyes and numbed by the loss of his comrades) attacking the French with all his energy. The barbarism of war has weakened man by revealing his duality.

General Friedrichs, a military commander not far away, grumbles that the approaching truce is an act of cowardice as he gorges himself at a prepared dinner table in a dining room. Acting with a wounded ego and patriotism, he sends his battered soldiers back into battle.

These contrasting realities of men in the trenches and warmongering generals are revealed in the latest film adaptation of the 1928 German novel Im Westen Nichts Neues. As Baumer and his friends navigate the brutal battlefields of the First World War, we witness their transformation from open-eyed, eager soldiers to stunned infantrymen traumatized by the excesses of war. While the pain of loss is heavier than the wounds of the fight, they lose their will to live one by one.

Erich Maria Remarque’s anti-war novel already has a reputation as one of the most honest and disturbing accounts of young German soldiers’ experiences during the First World War. So much so that Adolf Hitler ordered that every copy of the book be burned in Nazi Germany. Based on the book in 1930, the American film would go on to become a classic, earning an Oscar nomination in the Best Picture category.

Remaking Remarque’s great work today is undoubtedly an enormous task, but if anti-war films serve as an artistic endeavor to remind us of the brutality of war, the latest production of All Quiet on the Western Front has done a fantastic job and Saving Private Ryan and 1917 It’s on the same level as movies.

Director Edward Berger focuses on the brutality of young soldiers at the front; In the book, he removed the sections about their being drawn into the war by their superiors and the difficulty of living a normal life on their return home.

Berger uses long sequences and strong visuals, fine-tuning the original plot to give us a gripping story. Baumer forges his family’s signature to join the war in 1917, as he and his friends were excited about the possibilities of fighting for their homeland. They cheerfully exit the town, but when they reach the trenches, the truth of the battle is revealed. For Baumer, Albert Kropp, Franz Muller and Ludwig Behm, their entire world and their preconceived notion of war is about to be turned upside down…

The character performances are captivating; especially Baumer, played by Felix Kammerer, and Stanislaus “Kat” Katczinsky, played by Albrecht Schuch. Kat is an older, friendly soldier who takes the youth under her wing. Even a year after their enlistment, the boys are still a little naive and nervous. The war seems to be ending, but they are starting to get frustrated with it. “We’ll be in Paris in six weeks!” they sing to themselves. Still, in the 18 months they were there, they made little or no progress on the western front.

There are sincere efforts to end the war. Hollywood star Daniel Bruhl plays German official Matthias Erzberger, who lost his son in the war and tries to make peace with the French. He is aware that more children die every time they delay the armistice. But politics is a dirty game, and men like General Friedrichs don’t care that lives are sacrificed in pursuit of name-making.

Soldiers accept each day as it is, with little hope for the next. As they forage for food and stare at French women passing by, they dream of life after the war. Kat talks about having more kids for a moment, then she’s eager to fight and says, “How long before we go again?” he asks. Meanwhile, the tanks and flamethrowers are crushed in exhaustion and despair. The characters stand out because they are well written and animated with all their hearts and souls.

There are creepy and frightening moments in the movie that make you want to avert your eyes. And there are moments of diplomatic stupidity that will anger you. All are equally disturbing, but they all barely scratch the inhumane surface of the events that took place throughout the great war.

All Quiet on the Western Front is like lambs going to the slaughter not only of capturing the abomination of war, but of young men sent to fight; It also stands out with its message that bloodthirsty generals are only pawns in their machinations. It is not the first and not the last piece of art to depict the depravity of people at war.


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