Steven Spielberg’s master piece Saving Private Ryan earned itself 5 academy awards, including the best director award in 1998. The all star cast starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore and Edward Burns brings to life the horror of war. Seen through the eyes of a squad of American soldiers, the story begins with World War 2’s historic D-Day invasion, then moves beyond the beach as the men embark on a dangerous special mission. Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) must take his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Faced with impossible odds, the men question their orders. Why are eight men risking their lives to save just one? Surrounded by the brutal realities of war, each man searches for his own answer-and the strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency and courage.
Saving Private Ryan earned its awards for bringing back the realism of World War 2 and for portraying what the shocking chances of survival were at the historic battle of Omaha beach on D-Day in June 1944. Omaha beach was only one of the invasion sites of the American, British and Canadian coalition forces. The special reason why Steven Spielberg chose to direct his movie with Omaha beach as its backdrop was due to the fact that out of all the other landing sites, Omaha beach was the bloodiest battle field and it took 15,000 lives of young American soldiers to capture the beach. In the past, war genre films meant hardcore action and a hero waging a one man war against an army, a typical movie would be Rambo 3. Although it is based on a true story, it did not take one American to battle the whole Russian army with a bow and arrow. Saving Private Ryan brings back to life the real heroes that fought in a war, men who were willing to give up their lives just to make a difference, now that ultimate sacrifice is what true heroism is. In a way Saving Private Ryan was finally able to create a difference between action genre films like Rambo 3 and war genre films like Black Hawk Down, and define completely new conventions of war genre films.
The realism of the movie is what gave the movie its academy awards. A few explosions cannot bring back ...
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...n the beach. Hundreds of bodies lay dead, the music although creates a peaceful effect, the first reaction of a sentimental audience would be tears dripping out of their eye’s. The final shot of the scene is the close up on Peter Ryan laying dead on the beach with a bloody tide rushing in. The ending scene was probably the most effective scene of all because it immediately shows the reality and chaos war brings to mankind and what kind of courage it takes people to rise up against it.
Overall I think Steven Spielberg has created a masterpiece in re-creating D-Day. Not only that, the way the whole battle sequence followed and linked each other was remarkable. I mean to say the graveyard, the old veteran crying, the music, really prepared me to expect the next scene to be a battle. But I did not know it was going to be that chaotic and brutal that it literally shocked and surprised me. The accuracy and the, idea of hand held cameras really involved me with the movie and I think that’s what I enjoyed the most, the realism of the movie convinced me that, that is how D-Day happened. Saving Private Ryan was definitely worth watching, it has taken the war film genre to a whole new level.
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