The German director directs 'Midway', a spectacular action film that recreates the key battle of World War II between the US and Japan
It happened in June 1942 and is considered one of the key moments in the development of World War II. This is the battle of Midway, a clash between the air and naval divisions of the US and Japan in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that resulted in more than 3,300 casualties between the two contestants and cut the Japanese advance by sea with the subsequent objective of attacking US cities In Midway , by Roland Emmerich (Stuttgart, 1955), those frantic four days of total confrontation are recreated with a cast that includes faces known as those of Patrick Wilson, Dennis Quaid, Luke Evans or Woody Harrelson.
"My interest in telling this story is to show how small decisions made by certain people can decide a great struggle in which thousands of others participate," says the German filmmaker. “Everything comes from the surprise that caused the devastating Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in the US. Just six months after that, the Americans rearmed in record time and the battle of Midway took place.
As in other films ( Independence Day , Tomorrow ) of this director based in the North American country, again spectacularity is the main feature of a project whose budget has exceeded 100 million euros. “Many war movies have been shot, but few have well reflected a battle at sea. It is a challenge I wanted to face. I have done it because it was not easy and because, above all, I wanted to show the events as they happened ».
Asked about the realism of this story, Emmerich points out that «adjusting to reality was very important in this case. All the characters that appear on the tape really existed. I didn't want to invent anything to offer a story that is very close to the facts.
Among other groups, the film pays tribute to the analysts who managed to decipher the messages of the Japanese imperial army before each attack. “It is fascinating to see how what happened at sea, with the pilots and the people who were on the aircraft carriers, was influenced by the work of some guys who worked from sun to sun in an office. They anticipated that the Japanese had set them a trap and could avoid it.
When it came to the help of the US government, Emmerich initially found a smaller collaboration than he expected. “Although they told me they would help, it didn't seem like they wanted to let us into their facilities. They thought he would use a story like this, based on a naval battle, as an excuse to tell a love story. The thing did not finish advancing until the moment in which, in the middle of a conversation, the name of Dick Best, a US pilot that only military experts seemed to know, came out. When I told them that I knew who he was and that, in fact, this movie revolved around him, they began to get more interested. In the film, Ed Skrein is the one who gives life to that hero who risked his life on numerous occasions.
Emmerich, who recognizes himself as a lover of classic cinema, smiles when asked about the small but significant appearance of John Ford as a character in this feature film. «When I learned that he was there, in the middle of the battle, working with his camera in front of the enemy planes that were shooting at him, I could not resist paying him a small tribute in the film. I admire John Ford for his Westerns. And, of course, I consider him the master of that genre. No one like him knew how to make the most of landscapes on the big screen.
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