The opening scene reveals the horror of war because it starts with trench warfare between the Germans and the French. Other scenes that are near the middle of the film also reveal the horror because they show the destructive effects of war. In the war there are lots of people getting killed through shell fires, rifles, and other weapons. The new weaponry used in the Great War like machine guns makes the war more deadly so more people died in the war. We see this when a soldier was choking after he fell into the trench where there was poisonous gas.
Another example of this is when a soldier screams after a bomb landed near his trench. Long shot, aerial shot, panning, medium shot, tracking shot, and other film techniques help us view the horror of war. In the scenes where Paul Bauma’s friends are injured and in the scene where Paul and his injured friends are in the hospital, it shows how war can affect on soldiers by making them lose their will to live because some overreacted after a miserable experience like losing a leg which caused them to have a shell shock.
In addition, war causes other soldiers to change their personalities like Paul. We see this when one of the soldiers tried to suicide by using an object to hit himself. Another example is when Albert said to Paul that he wants a gun. Film techniques like close up shots show us that their facial expression is filled with unhappiness, not with cheerfulness and joy. In the final sequence it starts with Paul Bauma writing a letter to his friend Albert while he is in the trench with other soldiers.
The camera techniques helps the audience know what situation he is by using tilting and panning which shows us where he is. Other camera techniques like close-up shot, medium shot, and long shot focuses on Paul’s and other soldiers’ facial expressions and other things like a sketch of a bird which makes the film exciting. This can gives us an idea how unhappy or depressed the soldiers were during the war. For example while he was walking and tapping to each soldiers there is a reverse tracking shot showing both the soldier and Paul’s facial expression.
Despite the use of camera work, sound also makes the film more interesting because it gives us background noise and music. Also the sound makes the film more realistic and entertaining. We see this when Paul was walking on the muddy soil and when we hear spasmodic rifle fire. Other than noise, music helps create the emotional content in the film and helps raise drama. Music also captures our feeling or emotion. In addition, a voice over which occurs when Paul is writing a letter makes it more interesting by showing us what he write by making us hear his voice rather than showing what he wrote.
An example of this is when there was a haunting quality of theme music when Paul told sad news about the twenty students in his class who enlisted in the Great War. In the Great War, lots of soldiers died in various ways. Some soldiers got a shell shock after the war. Horrors of war show us that war is very destructive and dangerous. Next, the war mostly changes soldiers in a miserable way. The director used the opening scenes and other scenes to reveal the themes.
In addition, the film techniques make the film more realistic and enjoyable. It achieves this using music, panning shot, tracking shot, and other sound and camera work which illustrate the drama by capturing our emotions. Other than that, these camera techniques also help convey horrors of war and how war affected soldiers, and other themes. Therefore, the sound and camera work makes the final sequence of the film more interesting. Also, the two major themes are horrors of war and the effect of war on soldiers.