A violent and unforgiving rendition of Erich Maria Remarque’s renowned anti-war book is being produced for Netflix. Without being romantic, All Quiet on the Western Front depicts the terrible cost of World War I’s battle. Here, there are no lofty speeches or valiant acts of courage. While elites hesitate, soldiers suffer horrendous deaths for a useless cause. Any remaining patriotism is extinguished when rats nibble on decomposed bodies on battle-scarred battlefields and torrents of blood pour into muck-filled, icy pits. Only friends in arms can alleviate hunger, need, and loneliness. Their awful deaths worsened the mental instability already present. War is horrible and is appropriately portrayed as such.
German soldier, running from his dugout in terror Before him, he attacks French adversaries with swords and guns. When he received the command to assault, his future was decided. Unmarked bodies are thrown into pits. Their bloodied footwear and clothing were collected for the upcoming gruesome meal. Young Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) impersonates his parents a few days later in early 1917 Northern Germany to enroll. He won’t miss his pals’ amazing activity. They applaud as a professor from the Imperial War Academy proclaims victory. All will return with an Iron Cross medal. Paul takes great pleasure in his outfit. The fact that another man’s name is sewn on the collar surprises him.
Paul and his students arrive at the chaos on the French front lines. Nothing even comes close to his fantasies. In the trenches, he is hungry, cold, and damp. As mortars strike them, they are huddled together in a bunker. Paul is taken under the wing of Stanislaus “Kat” Katczinsky (Albrecht Schuch), an uneducated cobbler. The bunker caves in, cutting short their introduction.
Matthias Erzberger (Daniel Brühl) delivers a shocking report to the German high command 18 months later. They had lost 40,000 soldiers in a couple of weeks. Germany will be forced to run out of men unless an armistice with the French is signed. Such cowardice is condemned by the haughty Field Marshall (Michael Wittenborn). They must use all of their might to face this situation.
All Quiet on the Western Front, a film by Lewis Milestone, won Best Picture in 1930. The novel by Berger strikes the same strong thematic chords. Millions of men lost their lives in a battle where the front lines scarcely moved. A new age of armaments and horrifying deaths began with “the war to end all wars.” Paul was used as a pawn by folks who had no concept of catastrophic defeat. Their vile hubris destroyed his potential. We simply need to turn to Ukraine to see a lesson that hasn’t been taught more than a century later.
Amusement Park Films, Rocket Science, and Sliding Down Rainbows Entertainment worked together to produce All Quiet on the Western Front. It features subtitles in both English and German. The movie has a limited theatrical run in the US right now, and on October 28 it will have its global premiere on Netflix.