All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front ★★½

The more this sits in my head, the less I like it. From a purely technical standpoint, All Quiet on the Western Front is an impressive film. But there also came a point where I was wondering to myself what purpose it served overall, given as there's not too much in here that I found was already offered by the 1930 film. Perhaps it'd be one thing to commend the realism that Edward Berger aims for when adapting the words of Erich Maria Remarque to the screen, but even then, Remarque's message seems lost in the way that the film looks - at times I can't help but feel it was the aesthetic centered more than ever.

When you're adapting such a prolific anti-war text to the screen, this didn't really fly well with me, and the fact that I just found I could never connect with anyone on the screen, although with trying to adapt Remarque's words about the pointlessness of war, perhaps the experience of being there would be more visceral if there was any sort of emotional hook to be found. At most, it just comes off conventional - maybe even contradictory at times to that very text at hand.

Just read the masterpiece that is the book, or just watch the 1930 film instead.

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