Film Review: Platoon, "Fighting For A Different Cause"

904 words - 4 pages

"I can't believe we're fighting each other when we should be fighting them." This is a thought from Chris, the main character of the film Platoon. It refers to men who were supposed to be fighting the Vietcong, but instead are fighting their fellow soldiers. The world is made up of people with differing views on everything, including how to treat others. Some people can be fighting for the same cause with different takes on it. In war, the men in your platoon are like your teammates because you are all fighting on the same side. Oliver Stone's Platoon uses the soldiers of the Vietnam War to reveal the conflict between good and evil that is brought out in war, even between men fighting together. He accomplishes getting his point across by using characters such as Sergeant Barnes and Sergeant Elias and also through events displaying their conflicting mind sets. This idea of war bringing out the evil in soldiers is not made clear with major events right away in the film. When it first becomes obvious is when the men enter a Vietnamese village that they thought may be hiding information about the Vietcong. The American soldiers are trying to find all of the village people to get them out of their homes. There is a scene when Chris, Bunny, and O'Neill find a man and a woman in a hut. Chris threatens the man by shooting at his feet, but he keeps missing. Bunny finally kills the man, beating him to death. Bunny then says, "Did you see his fucking head come apart?" O'Neill replies, "Why don't we leave now. Nobody saw a fucking thing!". "Come on man, let's fucking do her! Let's do this whole fucking village!" This is a powerful scene in the movie, not only because Bunny is so vile and brutal with their enemies, but also because O'Neill and Bunny are disagreeing on how to handle the situation. Bunny has become this malicious, immoral character through their hate for the Vietcong that the war has encouraged. Both of the men dislike the Vietnamese, but Bunny wants to illegally kill them, where O'Neill only wants to scare them. O'Neill is slowly allowing the war to change him, but he is not at the same extremity as Bunny yet. After this scene in the hut, the men go back outside into the village, and Barnes is yelling at a Vietnamese man. His wife continues shouting out of fear, and this really ticks off Barnes, so he shoots her to shut her up. Elias comes out as this happens and says, "BARNES! What the fuck do you think you're doing???" Barnes...

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