Review Of Platoon

Review Of Platoon

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I wasn’t expecting it, I just looked up and there it was: the disgusting, bloody, mauled body of a dead soldier. The shot was brief and I do not remember if he was strung up on a tree, if he was hanging, or what not. I was not in class the day prior due to a sleepless night led to sickness, so I was not able to watch the first part of the movie. I remembered that our class was supposed to watch a war movie; Ms.

Klein was deciding between “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Platoon”. I vaguely remember her saying something about one of the movies being a slight bit, well, gruesomely horrifying. Due to a number of things that were due in my classes that day, when I walked into my English room, I was not thinking about the warnings that I was given. Then I looked up. Shocked I guess you could say was my first reaction. I was a little too surprised to be disgusted.

Don’t sound so disappointed, I became sick to my stomach all too soon. It was hard for me to concentrate on a lot of “Platoon” during the first day of class. I looked at the screen only half of the time; I buried my head in current work so as to hide my eyes from the disasters on TV. I would occasionally look up and sure enough, each time I proceeded to lift my head, I squealed, and put it back down. I remember scenes of teenage boys being tortures with bullets, old women and men being killed, girls being raped, and children being put in front of a firing squad. That night, I couldn’t control the terrible scenes that flooded my head as I tried to sleep.

The next day, I had learned to deal with the violence a little more than the previous day. I watched almost all of it, having to turn away only occasionally. The emotions that the violence expressed held me taut; it no longer turned me away from the screen, but drew me in, showing me further the horrible nature of war. Even though director Oliver Stone may have exaggerated situations in the war, he presented Vietnam like no one before. War is not shown as an event worthy of glory or praise, we are no longer shown as a brave force of victims.

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Stone uses constant inhumane brutality, noise, and extreme tension, as a way to contradict that earlier standard form of war presentation. Although I have always looked at Vietnam with a feeling of remorse, this movie gave me a sense of personal sadness and national shame; sadness and shame for the wrong done unto the Vietnamese and the American teenage soldiers, for the lies told to the American people about the initiative for the war, for the “murdering” pride of the American government, and for the lack of respect given to each nation throughout the world. The most disturbing emotion that this film gave me though, was the depleting faith that humans could get along peacefully if attempted.
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