01 h 56 m

The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor and hijinks to keep their sanity in the face of the horror of war.

Robert Altman
Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt
"A Classic Satirical Masterpiece"

Posted Friday, Dec 15, 2023 59

M*A*S*H is set during the Korean War and follows the surgical staff of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. The film is a dark comedy that humorously portrays the absurdity and chaos of war, focusing on the doctors as they cope with the horrors of battle and the absurdities of military bureaucracy.

The movie is a satirical take on the dehumanizing effects of war and the absurdity of military life. It explores themes of camaraderie, coping mechanisms, and the human capacity to find humor in the darkest of situations. The tone is both irreverent and poignant, blending humor with moments of true emotional depth.

The ensemble cast delivers top-notch performances. Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould shine as the irreverent and anti-authoritarian surgeons Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John McIntyre, while the rest of the supporting cast also impresses with their nuanced portrayals of the various medical personnel coping with the challenges of war.

Director Robert Altman brings a unique and innovative approach to storytelling, using overlapping dialogue and a fluid, improvisational style to create a sense of controlled chaos. His direction infuses the film with energy and authenticity, making the audience feel like they are part of the hectic and pressure-filled world of the 4077th.

M*A*S*H movie review

The film`s soundtrack features an eclectic mix of music from the 1940s and 50s, effectively capturing the era and adding an extra layer of nostalgia and irony to the scenes. The music enhances the film`s satirical tone and provides an emotional backdrop to the characters` experiences.

The cinematography is raw and unrefined, perfectly capturing the grit and immediacy of the surgical scenes and the rugged, makeshift environment of the M*A*S*H unit. The use of long takes and handheld camera work adds to the documentary-like feel of the film, immersing the audience in the chaotic world of the characters.

The production design authentically recreates the setting of a mobile army surgical hospital during the Korean War, from the makeshift tents and medical equipment to the military uniforms and vehicles. The attention to detail adds to the film`s realism and helps ground the story in its historical context.

While the film doesn`t rely heavily on special effects, the practical effects and makeup work are effective in creating the visceral and sometimes graphic portrayal of the surgical procedures and the injuries suffered by the soldiers. The practical effects add a sense of urgency and realism to the medical scenes.

M*A*S*H movie review

The editing effectively juggles the film`s multiple storylines and characters, creating a sense of frenetic energy and capturing the chaotic nature of life in a M*A*S*H unit. The non-linear editing style adds to the film`s disorienting and off-kilter atmosphere, keeping the audience on their toes.

The film`s brisk pace mirrors the urgency and unpredictability of the characters` daily lives in the midst of war. The rapid-fire dialogue and quick-cut scenes contribute to the film`s kinetic energy, keeping the audience engaged from start to finish.

The sharp and witty dialogue is a standout feature of the film, with the characters` banter and quips providing both comic relief and insight into their coping mechanisms. The dialogue showcases the characters` camaraderie and coping mechanisms, while also delivering biting social commentary and satire.

While M*A*S*H is a classic and influential film, some viewers may find its irreverent and dark humor to be jarring or even offensive. The film`s portrayal of war and its cavalier attitude towards authority may not resonate with every viewer, and the non-linear storytelling and overlapping dialogue may be disorienting for some.

M*A*S*H is a groundbreaking and influential film that deftly blends dark comedy, satire, and poignant drama. Its irreverent tone and innovative storytelling make it a unique and memorable cinematic experience that continues to resonate with audiences. The film`s themes and characters leave a lasting impression, offering a thought-provoking and emotionally impactful portrayal of war and the human spirit.