‘If you know that you came through when people were counting on you, you’ll be able to face anything.’ __ Dick Best.
Midway (2019) is a captivating American epic war film, and it is one of the most expensive independent films ever made. It was directed by America’s 11th-highest-grossing director Roland Emmerich who also co-produced it with Harald Kloser. Patrick Wilsonin (as Lieutenant Commander Edwin T. Layton) and Ed Skrein (as Lieutenant Richard “Dick” Best) starred in this film. Thomas Wander and Harald Kloser did the music for the film, while the gifted Robby Baumgartner handled the cinematography. Its flow and accurate display of the historical setting ensured that it did fine in the box office, grossing 150 million dollars, gaining despite its massive budget.
The film is based on the popular Battle of Midway, a part of the Second World War. It portrays Japan’s quest to be World Power and how it motivated the Attack on Pearl Harbor. The film also describes America’s entry into the Second World War and the tactical choices that determined the outcome of the Battle of Midway.
Midway provides the viewer with a heart that is half family man and half warrior, wrestling for his country, yet longing to be home with his family. It shows the ever running interplay between causes and effects and how a desperation for power could lead to avoidable blood baths.
In this film, the tactical nature of warfare was well captured as the film makers used modern effects and technology to bring an old story to life. The film makers presented key parts of warfare like mathematical analysis of patterns and codes that need tactical awareness to break. This can be seen in Layton figuring out that the code word ‘AF’ was an encrypted code that meant ‘Midway.’ Warfare was treated as an art (which it is), countering the popular idea that warfare is all about soldiers shooting guns as a commander yells instructions.
Historical accuracy of the setting is spot on, the Pacific is properly depicted and the intricate relationships between aircraft and naval vessels in World War II is well portrayed. The ‘Us versus Them’ mentality which is the chief trigger of irrational hate and the author of most wars is also portrayed by the killing of civilians, attack on Pearl Harbor and war crimes. Cries of victory and hearts bleeding with patriotism as was common in both World Wars were accurately described.
The intents of the film makers was to replay history and explain why it is a worthy venture to honor the valiant efforts of heroes who fought during the Second World War. This film’s makers made their intent real by using actors that could establish a relationship between warfare and patriotism. Members of the cast often state in interviews that they are honored to have played the role of these noble veterans. This implies that the first impact of the intent of the film makers was on the cast.
Midway helps the viewers appreciate the beauty of military tactics and how intelligent the commanders that brought victory to their country really were. One moment it brings the emotions of family life, another moment it brings military wits to play and the next moment it brings the dreadful brutality of warfare. This movie reflects many emotions and can trigger a wide variety of individuals. Moving from the ambience of normal life, to seeing Pearce heroically burnt beyond recognition, you smile, then feel sad. A few moments later, you are found wondering why you are sad once you see the beautiful toast to the memory of Pearce only seen in a military setting. The flow of this movie has the right emotions in precise order to keep the audience awake and glued.
Combining the genius of Roland Emmerich and the wonderful display from Patrick Wilson, Ed Skrein, Luke Evans, Nick Jonas, Aaron Eckhart and Woody Harrelson was certainly the recipe for success. This film was successful in the art of entertaining and informing its audience at the same time. The camera angles were impressive, and helped the audience focus on the major events in scenes where a couple of events were running concurrently. Combining the impressive camera angles and the fine work by Editor Adam Wolfe brought the graphics to life.
The story behind this film also makes it worthy to look forward to. It is basically the story of a man (Roland Emmerich) who wouldn’t let limited finance deprive him of making his dreams reality. Roland Emmerich always dreamt of shooting this independent film but knew it would be cost intensive given his interest in depicting the war with high tech graphics. Having tasked his mind, he decided to start a fundraiser which worked well and brought the funds he needed. Given that Midway ended up being a great movie, his quest to fulfill his dream was worth it.
In a nutshell, this masterpiece would certainly help its audience appreciate the veterans better. If you are the person interested in seeing the product of a ‘dream come true’, you should see this movie. Everyone is encouraged to see this movie because it stirs value, respect and love for both the country and the heroes of the country.
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