Hacksaw Ridge: "I Don't Know How I'm Going To Live With Myself If I Don't Stay True To What I Believe"

Director: Mel Gibson
Writer:    Andrew Knight
                Robert Schenkkan
Starring: Andrew Garfield
                Vince Vaughn
                Sam Worthington
                Luke Bracey
                Ryan Corr
                Teresa Palmer
                Hugo Weaving
                Rachel Griffiths
Rating:    ****

Release Date: Out Now

Mel Gibson has had a tempestuous with Hollywood of late, and many thought his career was over. Now while his time in front of the camera may be done, it is very clear that behind the camera Gibson is still able to make magic. Telling the relatively unknown story of Desmond Doss, a man that stood by his morals and beliefs and the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honour.

Andrew Garfield
Andrew Garfield plays Desmond Doss, and it is a grounded, level-headed and passionate performance, a performance that balances perfectly with the fast paced action going on elsewhere. Garfield has taken real care and consideration in the way he plays Doss, and it is yet another spellbinding performance this year. Each line of dialogue and thought process that he goes through is done with perfect detail and subtlety, making the character more real than anything Garfield has done before.

The supporting cast is just as terrific as Garfield, and each do their part to lift the film and tell the story. Vince Vaughn, in a rare dramatic turn, shines as Sergeant Howell. He is aggressive, brutal and some of his dialogue hits an uncomfortable part of my conscience. However, you soon see a new side to Howell, and Vaughn shows these two sides with out effort or problem. I was also taken in by Teresa Palmer, as Doss' wife Dorothy. A gentle, loving and warm character, with whom she worked perfectly with Garfield and together a beautiful pairing was made.

Rachel Griffiths and Hugo Weaving play Doss' parents, and they are two wonderfully complex characters. His mum is a devoted wife and mother, who puts up with more than she should, something that drives Doss to make the decision to refuse to hold a gun. His father is an angry, bitter ex war veteran, who as life goes on, decides it is time to do right by his son and family. The two actors bounce off one another with ease, and it is an electric performance from both.

Hugo Weaving & Rachel Griffiths
Mel Gibson has created a film that almost comes in two parts, and then gets brought together with out feeling clunky and awkward. The first half is a beautiful look at Doss' childhood and earlier life and how he became to be the pacifist that wants to serve without killing. The second half is a war film, that shows his fellow soldiers that he can be of use to them, and soon changes their opinions. Gibson sets the tone perfectly between these two polar opposite settings, and links them together with a gritty script full of depth and well timed flashbacks that help connect the two halves.

I am not usually a fan of war films, but Hacksaw Ridge is a brilliantly written and directed film, filled with stunning performances from its impeccable cast. Desmond Doss' story needed to be told, and Hacksaw Ridge tells it better than any film could've hoped too. 

Hacksaw Ridge - Trailer