• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:November 24, 2022

All Quiet on the Western Front

Felix Kammerer. Photo: Netflix

In 1917, four German school boys enthusiastically join the army and are sent to northern France where hell awaits them; at the same time, Matthias Erzberger (Daniel Brühl) is headed for tough peace negotiations with the French. The first German adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic novel is technically very impressive, recreating the nightmare on the battlefield in a similarly explosive and brutal way as 1917 (2019); a few scenes really has one’s pulse racing, in tune with Volker Bertelmann’s relentless score. A novel twist is the decision to include peace talks and the real-life Erzberger in the story, but the film’s biggest flaw is an inability to say something unexpected.

2022-Germany. 147 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Edward Berger, Daniel Marc Dreifuss, Malte Grunert. Directed by Edward Berger. Screenplay: Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, Ian Stokell. Novel: Erich Maria Remarque. Cinematography: James Friend. Music: Volker Bertelmann. Cast: Felix Kammerer (Paul Bäumer), Albrecht Schuch (Stanislaus ”Kat” Katczinsky), Aaron Hilmer (Albert Kropp), Daniel Brühl (Matthias Erzberger), Moritz Klaus, Adrian Grünewald.

Trivia: Original title: Im Westen nichts Neues. Mimi Leder and Roger Donaldson were reportedly considered for directing duties before the project landed in Germany. 

Last word: “In Germany, it’s nothing to be proud of, that part of history. There’s a sense of shame, guilt, horror, terror, responsibility towards history. And so you feel, in that sense, it’s a weight that you grow up with. I inherited it. It’s in my DNA. And that DNA is going to influence every creative decision and hopefully then make a film that is interesting to share with other countries because it’s a different perspective from the American and British war films. It just felt like I wanted to get that out of my system and share it with other countries and tell that story. And to make a specifically German film.” (Berger, AV Club)

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