While many wars films are in some regard anti-war, this film is the epitome of that label. Instead of slamming us with brutal images of war, Kubrick’s “Paths of Glory” delves us into the dark and gruesome underside of politics in war. It assaults us with tales of deceit and cowardice. The irony around the entire film is that the men who are accusing these soldiers of cowardice are the men who are most condemnable of cowardice out of anyone in the film. This irony struck me during the brilliantly crafted execution scene.
The camera work is absolutely magnificent and is able to envelop us in this brutal environment during WWI. From sprawling battle scenes, to diseased trenches, and even to the magnificent walls of a corrupt court room, every scene is memorable and presented to us in the highest degree of quality. It’s a gritty side of war you are not soon to forget after the film is concluded.
The acting, screenplay, and construction within the story are all masterfully presented as well giving an outstanding level of suspense through to its sorrowful climax. You cannot leave this film with any kind of support for this political system built up around these soldiers. It’s an unmissable hard-hitting war film for anyone with a pulse.