365 films in 2016: film 27 (Platoon 1986)

platoonI’ve talked about Vietnam in films on this blog before with Apocalypse Now and it really interests me in a weird way, mainly because of how open Hollywood is to express the horrors of war and parody it’s cliches, I think this is because Vietnam was the first war to be so openly shown to the public leaving nothing to hide, filmmakers were given the opportunity to change the attitudes people had towards war and ‘fighting for your country’.

Platoon isn’t the first film to toy with the archaic philosophy that war is beautiful and war is just, as long as we say we are in the right and God is on our side we will win. The Vietnam was the crumbling of this idea, people had protested previous wars but not in the way Vietnam was, and you can see that in Platoon, Chris signs up because he thinks it’s the right thing to do, he thinks he needs to do his part and serve his country like his father and grandfather did, whereas everyone else fighting the war would have done anything not to go.

there is a cultural and ideological clash in Platoon between the characters, in fact in Chris’ closing monologue he says ‘I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy was in us.‘ which sums up the film perfectly, even the Vietcong they’re fighting are never really shown on screen in depth, they’re always shown from far away or they’re silhouetted by the darkness, it’s dare that we actually see who the Americans are fighting close up. I think that’s what’s special about Platoon, it’s individuality is shown though it’s characters and their own personal differences, Platoon shows the horrors of war but at the same time it shows the horrors of being stuck in a war that feels like it never ends, feeling like you’re trapped in a jungle hell. Platoon is an 8/10.

In 2016 i will be watching 365 films (yes, i know there are 366 days this year) and writing about how I felt about them, I decided to do this just because over the last year or so i’ve Sort of pulled away from film and I wanna start to enjoy watching movies again. This will normally be just notes I made or thoughts I have about the film.


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