All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front ★★★★

The beautiful compositions, period accuracy and visual clarity of "1917", the visceral savagery of "Saving Private Ryan", the realistically conveyed in-between-combat idling listlessness of "Jarhead", and a sense of the futility and misery of war so precisely calibrated in scene after scene as to enrage you with the constant reminder that our world has done this to itself countless times throughout history, subjected millions upon millions of people across the ages to barbaric experiences predicated on utter pointlessness comparable to those of protagonist Paul Baumer. As individuals maybe we're an okay species, but as societies, human beings deserve total annihilation on an endless loop. Thank goodness there are no actual aliens out there to judge whether we should be preserved or destroyed, cuz the population of Earth would never pass that test.

YMMV but to me one thing I'm almost most grateful for is that this isn't boring. War movies can be, but this remake/re-adaptation approaches on a gut level, rarely bothering with military tactics or other such pedantic details. It's about the humanism of it all, nothing more. Exceptionally strong stuff.

*trivia: I think this was the first book I was ever assigned to read in high school, the first in an extensive and fulfilling 4 years of exposure to classic lit. I was too young to fully appreciate this but I remember it being an easy read (ironically given its wrenching themes).

Block or Report

MichaelEternity liked these reviews