Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Sunday morning cinema has become a habit ... I suppose it's easy on cold mornings, grab a slice of toast, 10 minute bus ride and you're up and doing something that doesn't require much effort. And sometimes it nudges me to see a film that's out of my comfort zone.
I wasn't sure if I'd be able to stomach Hacksaw Ridge but the reviews were so good that I gave it a try. It's a fascinating true story about a conscientious objector who volunteered as an army medic and the first half of the film is fine ... we see him growing up in Virginia, his drunken father still scarred by his experiences in WW1, his romance with a pretty nurse who gets why he's different, then his struggle to get the establishment to allow him to serve without touching a rifle. And then he gets to Japan ... what happens on Hacksaw Ridge is not for the faint-hearted and this is the bloodiest war film I have ever seen. But it is undeniably very good. I wasn't quite sure about Andrew Garfield's Forrest-gumpish portrayal (sweet, gangly and innocent) of conscientious objector Desmond Doss - but then the real Desmond Doss appeared in footage at the end (he died in 2006) and it seems he caught him exactly right. There's a trailer here. I'm glad I went - I was gripped by the story - but I had my face buried in my woolly scarf for the worst bits. The cinema was full; you could feel that this was a film that had the whole audience by the throat.