It’s Actually Really Loud and Graphic on the Western Front


Daniel Torrillo

When the nominations for the 95th academy awards were streamed live on January 24th 2023, there were numerous surprises and snubs, but the biggest shock was that the holder for most nominations this year was held by Netflix’s “All Quiet on the Western Front.” At first, I had only a mild belief that this film was a big contender for numerous Oscars, but after seeing its nominations, watching it for the first time and finding it absolutely mesmerizing, this is definitely my top-runner for best picture of 2022. 



Set in Germany in 1918 during World War I, “All Quiet on the Western Front” tells the story of 17 year old Paul Baumer and his experiences of fighting in the German army while they were trying to take over France. Paul and his friends decide to sign themselves up to fight in the war and bring honor to their country. At first, Paul is excited and eager to be going into battle and feels like a real man, but this excitement fades quickly as he and his friends are sent into trench warfare on the Western Front. While there, all three of Paul’s best friends are killed and he must learn how to defend himself against hostile threats, such as protecting himself from toxic mustard gas, flamethrowers and intense French defense systems, most notably 60 ton Saint-Chamond Tanks.


Why it Will Have People Gagging:

What makes “All Quiet on the Western Front” such a gut-wrenching experience is its highly realistic portrayal of war and the emotions behind a soldier’s perspective, in this case, Paul. Throughout the film, there are graphic images portrayed, battle sequences or not, such as a blown up corpse hanging from a tree, a crawling man getting shot in the eye, and a soldier getting blown up as his organs get splattered everywhere. We also get very emotional scenes, such as Paul’s friend Kat getting shot by a 10-year old boy and Paul sobbing over his dead friend’s corpse as he collects the tag that will inform his family of his demise. It is very rare for a war movie to feature battle sequences that truly capture the horrifying and revolting nature of war violence and the humanity of soldiers on both sides. The filmmakers here are clearly not afraid to portray war for what it really is, hell that serves no purpose other than to take millions of lives and bring conflict upon the world caused by men’s power struggle and greed. 



Two Words: Best Picture.