An analysis from GUIDE TO WAR FILMS

21 05 2008

Exactly 20 years ago I have seen Platoon for the first time. And the worm has definitely turned for me, lol.


http://homepage.mac.com/dmhart/WarFilms/OldGuides/Platoon.html

QUOTE: OS: It was from these roots that the essential conflict between Elias and Barnes grew in my mind. Two gods. Two different views of the war. The angry Achilles versus the conscience-stricken Hector fighting for a lost cause on the dusty plains of Troy. It mirrored the very civil war that I’d witnessed in all the units I was in – on the one hand, the lifers, the juicers [those who drank alcohol], and the moron white element (part Southern, part rural) against, on the other, the hippie, dope smoking, black and progressive white element (although there were exceptions in all categories, and some lifers did more dope than I ever dreamed). Right versus Left. And I would act as Ishmael, the observer, caught between those two giant forces. At first a watcher. Then forced to act – to take responsability and a moral stand. And in the process to grow to a manhood I’d never dreamed I’d have to grow to. To a place where in order to go on existing I’d have to shed the innocence and accept the evil the Homeric gods had thrown out into the world. To be both good and evil. To move from this East Coast social product to a more visceral manhood, where I finally felt the war not only in my head, but in my gut and soul.

The Christian symbolism and many biblical references.
Film begins with ironic quote from Ecclesiastes: “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth.” See also 4. 1-3; 9.3; 9.11; 12.1, 12.13-14. “For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecc. 12. 14. Elias has biblical sounding name – Elijah, Isaiah. Christ figure – manner of his death with outstretched arms like crucifiction (E “falls to his knees, still stretching upwards for life” and explicitly OS says “Elias crucified”

Isaiah??? Why is the author mentioning Isaiah? It of course made me think of Break, but it turned out that Isaiah, and Isaac are two different biblical figures.

BTW, the Illias reference¬†is not only the two war gods Hector and Achilles but also the senseless background of the war, at least as shown in “Troy”.

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