War is Over! review: Oscar-winning film radiates creativity and peace

Karishma Jangid
New Update
War is Over!

'War is Over! Inspired by the Music of John and Yoko' was displayed at Animela's screening of animated short films nominated for Oscars 2024. 

The Oscar buzz is everywhere with movies like Oppenheimer, Poor Things, The Zone of Interest, 21 Days in Mariupol, The Holdovers, and Anatomy of a Fall grabbing everyone's attention. Among these cinematic offerings, Dave Mullins'War is Over!' stands out as a shining gem, having clinched the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2024. Inspired by the iconic peace anthem 'Happy Xmas! War is Over!' by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Mullins' 11-minute masterpiece delivers both creativity and subtle depth.

War is Over! unfolds a tale across two battlefields - one on the chessboard and the other on solid ground. Two soldiers, strangers to each other, engage in a game of chess from opposing sides, communicating through messages carried by a messenger pigeon. Will the wars ever end? Who will win which war? Is there any winning in wars ever? These are some of the poignant questions that the film asks. And it impressively does so without any dialogue. The sound and the visuals of the film are enough to carry the entire film on their shoulders. The sound expresses a myriad of emotions while the visuals name them between the lines. As such, the film is aesthetically pleasing.

Also Read: Oscars 2024 highlights: Oppenheimer bags 7 Academy's; Ryan Gosling performs with other

However, the film's real charm lies in its message. Inspired by Lennon and Ono's peace movement during the Vietnam War, their iconic song redefined the Christmas Spirit to demand an end to war. While the plea was directed at the government, it also held everyone accountable with the assertion, "War is Over! If you want it." Mullins beautifully conveys this message by portraying two soldiers who clearly oppose the war. They're not trained soldiers but ordinary men thrust into conflict unwillingly. Like them, individuals, governments, and ordinary citizens hold the power to end wars. The key is to raise your voice and resist. And as Lennon and Ono demonstrated, resistance can take the form of art. Even in 2024, it's a shame the song still resonates enough to inspire a film. Wars have not ceased and there seems to be no end in sight. However, this film is a reminder that as long as there are wars, there will be resistance, art, and eventually, peace.

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War is Over! War is Over! review