I thought Platoon to be a very interesting and engaging movie. One aspect of the movie that I thought made this film stand out from others was how Chris would go in and out of narrating. These small, or sometimes large, pieces of narration made the movie more personal and showed the audience what was really going on in a soldiers head during this time. Other than the narration pieces that were scattered throughout the movie, there was one scene that really stood out to me. This scene was the when the platoon was had just seized a village in Vietnam and were looking for Viet Cong soldiers, munitions, or just general information about them. When arriving to the village, the American soldiers immediately started to harass a Vietnamese man and his family. First, the US soldiers made the man “dance” or in other words, they shot at the man’s feet, thus forcing him to move his feet to not get shot. These actions made it look as if the man were dancing. From there, a US soldier shot the Vietnamese man’s wife in front of him and his child and then held a gun to the child’s head, showing how ruthless and inhumane some of these soldiers were. Shortly after we see Chris help a young Vietnamese women from getting sexually assaulted from some of the other US soldiers. Chris then went on to call his fellow soldiers “animals.” I was shocked to see that during times of war, people believe that all humane acts, boundaries, and ways of civilized life fly out the door. It is as if during times of war, humans revert to being wild animals.
In addition to this scene, I found it interesting to see how Chris changed over the course of his 1 year enlistment. In the beginning he was scene as the new guy who people weren’t a massive fan of but then he breaks into a bigger role of calming situations between Elias and Barnes. He also talked in the beginning of the movie how he was almost eager to be there even though he really didn’t like the conditions whereas at the end of the movie, he tells us that he “struggled to maintain my sanity.” This really shows that the horrific events within war can really change a person.
In class we talked about the movie Saving Private Ryan and how Steven Spielberg tried to make the movie as accurate as possible. We know from Dr. Bezio’s past job of working at the movie theater and comforting World War II veterans that Spielberg accomplished his goal of making an accurate movie. I was wondering if Platoon had a similar effect on its audience? Is Platoon considered to be an accurate depiction of the Vietnam War?