Two reviews

23 03 2008

A review from New York Times:

Much like Mr. Herr’s ”Dispatches,” this vivid, terse, exceptionally moving new film deals with the immediate experience of the fighting that is, with the life of the infantryman, endured at ground level, in heat and muck, with fatigue and ants and with fear as a constant, even during the druggy hours back in the comparative safety of the base.



The platoon’s most important figures are two NCO’s, each an exhausted, self-aware veteran of earlier Vietnam tours: the facially scarred Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger), who has somehow become committed to the war, which is all he has left, and Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe), whom the war has made as eerily gentle as Barnes is brutal. The two men, longtime friends, loathe each other.* (…)

A first viewing of Platoon? might leave you so awed by its brutal starkness that you might not notice the melodrama. (…)

In many ways the three leads and their strife are like this narration: they exist somewhat outside the movie, detached from it, and are examining the plight of the real soldiers. (…)

The other similarity between Platoon and Line is that the Christ figures from both movies went on to play Christ. (…)

Nearly 20 years later, the most popular American film of 1986 the one that has aged well, is talked about most, and more people have seen might no longer be Platoon but is probably Aliens, which won the Oscar for Visual Effects. Both films have been copied beyond count. It’s interesting to note the similarities between the two of them, both about presumptuous, heavily-armed Americans facing an invisible, unknown presence that they would rather kill than understand (James Cameron wrote Aliens with Vietnam in mind).

*I wonder what made the reviewer have the same impression as me about Barnes and Elias being friends in the past. 😉

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