Analysis Of Platoon

1094 words - 4 pages

Rhetorical Analysis of "Platoon"A Vietnam veteran in Oliver Stone directed the movie Platoon. His first-hand experience of the war allowed him to tell a different story then most war movies. The result was a masterfully crafted vision that offers an intimate look at the lives of the soldiers involved in the conflict. Oliver Stone uses many different techniques to tell his story, which I believe is an anti-war message that illustrates that the lives of the soldiers' are more important than the purpose of the war. Stone's use of a character narrator, filming style and storyline provides the viewer the ability to empathize with the soldiers.Private Chris Taylor a naïve young man from an affluent family who decided to abandon college and voluntarily enlist in the Army is narrating the story. Upon his arrival, Private Taylor enters a very new world then what he is not used to. It is dusty, hot, and scary. The look in his eyes gives the impression that he knows he has just arrived in hell. As Taylor is walking through the base, he passes some seasoned soldiers who begin to antagonize him for being a newbie. At the end of the group was a soldier with a disheveled appearance that gives the impression that he has been beating down by the mental and physical stress of war. Stone uses him to foreshadow what Taylor will be like upon his departure from Vietnam.Taylor's transformation throughout the movie comes from the experiences he has gone through in the jungle of Vietnam. The use of this character as a first person narrator brought validity to the movie. Since he was part of the fighting it is easier for the viewer to accept his message compared to a third party narrator telling the story later. Taylor's transformation from a naïve college student to the bloodthirsty war veteran depicts the ills of war no matter the cause.The way Stone directed and filmed the movie gives it the feel of a first person documentary about the Vietnam War. His use of up close facial frames brings the characters closer and makes the viewer feel connected with them as they go through the rigors of being in war torn Vietnam. Platoon allows the viewer to participate vicariously in combat and get a taste of the despair, violence, boredom, filth and drudgery experienced by soldiers who fought in the war.Stone was also able to capture the language of the troops. Expletives are used in every conversation and are substitutes for verbs and adjectives whenever possible. There is a lot of homophobic language used throughout the film, which is used as a defensive façade and as a bonding technique. Life in the Vietnam jungle is both womanless and sexually charged but not without affection as we see in the scene where the soldiers get high and dance together.Stone was able to create a visual representation of the conditions of U.S. soldiers fighting in Vietnam almost perfectly. He shows how soldiers were so on edge that they often confused civilians for their enemy the...

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