Netflix’s ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ Is One of the Most Harrowing War Movies Since ‘Come and See’
The moment we meet the protagonist of All Quiet on the Western Front, a seventeen-year-old, doe-eyed and bushy-tailed student named Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) who lies about his age to enlist in the first World War, we know that he is doomed. Director Edward Berger ensures we don’t forget this fact, opening the film with dread-inducing pans of the colossal soon-to-be European war fronts and accompanying Paul and his comrades’ hopeful pre-war moments with Volker Bertelmann’s foreboding ticking time bomb of a score.
The film, adapted from German soldier Erich Maria Remarque’s acclaimed 1929 novel of the same name based on his own chilling experiences, starts in 1916 when thousands of young soldiers still had a romantic attitude toward the possibility of becoming heroes.
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