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Tess Keating Blog Post 11/1

I feel like it is easy to get caught up in the cinematics of war movies and forget that they actually portray something that really happened. While watching Platoon I tried to watch it through the lens knowing that the things that happened in the movie are actually what soldiers in the Vietnam War had to go through. This made the movie even more shocking and horrifying to watch. The awful conditions and gruesome things the men had to do and saw were all highlighted. Soldiers had to sleep on dirt with dangerous bugs and animals, watch their friends get shot, and be terrorized in the middle of the night. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to go to such a different environment than I am used to and be pushed to do things I would never do before. I never really learned much about the Vietnam War so watching this and realizing that it is something that actually happened and people had to go through it was eye opening. 

After watching Platoon and being able to understand just how horrible the conditions of the Vietnam War were, I thought about how it must have been so terrible for the soldiers who didn’t even believe in the war and still had to live through it because they were drafted. Something like that changes you forever and while some men volunteered for it, others were chosen at random, had no choice, and were changed forever. I can imagine many soldiers had feelings of resentment, especially since they didn’t even win the war and had to come back and try to return to normal life after what they went through.

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  1. Elina Bhagwat Elina Bhagwat

    I really like what you said about getting caught up in the cinematics rather than understanding the movie as being the truth. I think this just goes to show that the Vietnam War was so violent and aggressive that it’s so hard to believe. So instead of recognizing this as the truth, we choose to view it as simply just a movie and admire its cinematics.

  2. Thomas Bennett Thomas Bennett

    “Platoon” completely skipped the glorification of war that lots of other war movies attempt to instill in the viewer. In almost all war movies the viewer becomes naturally close with the soldiers depicted and inevitable someone who has had serious on screen time dies. While Elias fits this stereotypical war movie moment, the difference is that it doesn’t feel as though he is dying for something greater. Other war movies leave the impression that the soldiers on the screen were dying for something bigger than themselves, but in this case Elias’ and every other death feels pointless. The pointlessness that permeates the movie seems to be historically accurate as to how many soldiers felt.

  3. Alexander Dimedio Alexander Dimedio

    I think it is an interesting idea to watch the movie through a lens that this stuff really happened. I guess I oftentimes just watch movies because it is a way to pass time and be entertained, but really focusing on each individual aspect of the movie with an academic lens to it is smart. If the scenes from the movie are completely accurate, then I am not sure if I would be relieved to see Hollywood finally portraying things accurately, or even more horrified at what happened in the war. I think you did a great analysis on the movie and your thoughts on it.

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