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Film Analysis Of Platoon (1986)

1895 words - 8 pages

Film Analysis of Platoon (1986)"Rejoice O young man in thy youth…" (Ecclesiastes). The Vietnam War was a very controversial war in which thousands of young U.S. soldier's lives were lost. It was a time when America was torn in two and the people were more concerned with skin color then those who were half way across the world fighting a war. The American people turned their backs on their own youth and tried to ignore the fact that there was a war. The U.S. soldiers put their lives on the line and in return they received nothing but negativity and hate. The film Platoon helps open America's eyes to the harsh reality of the Vietnam War and to the fear and horror the U.S. soldiers faced and how they dealt with it. Oliver Stone, the director of Platoon, does an excellent job of using the different elements of film style to bring his movie to life. In this movie, the element of film that stands out the most and had the biggest impact is sound, which can be understood by analyzing a few different scenes containing both diegetic and non-diegetic sounds.Platoon was released in 1986 and follows the Vietnam War through the eyes of Bravo Company in 1967. The story follows the main character Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen), a young college dropout who is unprepared for the harsh reality of Vietnam. As the movie starts, you can see Taylor's struggle as he fails in keeping up with the rest of the platoon and as he writes to his grandma about how he can't handle Vietnam for much longer. The rest of the platoon tosses Taylor around knowing he is inexperienced compared to them and of little use. Taylor's first encounter with the NVA occurs the night after platoon commander Wolfe arrives. Taylor is joined up with the patrol squad who, while sleeping, is attacked by the Vietnamese. Gardner, another recruit, is killed in the gunfight as well as Tex. From this encounter Taylor is wounded and sent to the field hospital which later leads to his acceptance in the "heads", a small group that parties and takes drugs in a private bunker. This helps Taylor in becoming accepted by the rest of the platoon and more experienced as he continues to do patrols. During one patrol of an old village Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger) kills an innocent Vietnamese woman. This triggers Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe) to snap and the two get into a scuffle. Once the fight is over and the platoon returns to base, Sergeant Elias reports of Sergeant Barnes' actions. This creates a split in the platoon because half is on Barnes' side while the other is with Elias. Later on the platoon finds itself in another engagement in which Barnes takes control of the situation. He then orders the platoon to retreat but before Barnes leaves he finds Elias alone and decides to shoot him and then leave him behind. Taylor knows what Barnes did and wants to avenge Elias' death. Barnes hears of this and they end up in a fight, leaving Taylor with a scar. Sometime after, the platoon is ordered to setup...

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