Saving Private Ryan Essay

1063 words - 4 pages

Saving Private Ryan

In his review of the film “Saving Private Ryan”, N.Cull claims that the film presents… “a realistic depiction of the lives and deaths of G.I’s in the European theatre in World War II”. Do you agree with his assessment of the film? Argue your case.

N.Cull’s assessment of the film Saving Private Ryan in that it portrays “a realistic depiction of the lives and deaths of G.I’s in the European theatre in World War II” is an accurate one. Director Stephen Spielberg brings to the audience the “sheer madness of war” and the “search for decency” within it. That search ends for a group of soldiers whose mission it is too save Private Ryan. Although the film shows horrific and realistic battle scenes along with historically correct settings and situations with weapons and injuries true to their time, the film’s portrayal of war goes a lot deeper than that. The expressions and feelings of soldiers along with their morals and ideology are depicted unifyingly with the horror of war. The lives and deaths of American soldiers in the immediate part of the invasion of Normandy are illustrated more realistically than ever before. Saving Private Ryan captures the “harsh reality of war as authentically as possible”.

The films historical accuracy of the Omaha beach landing begins with the “angry sea” and the timing of the attack, taking place at dawn. The film starts with Ryan in old age remembering his fallen comrades and then the story goes back in time to the events from there. A group of armed soldiers aboard a transport vessel look almost discarnate as the boat is tossed around the ocean. The soldiers do not pay attention to the orders they are given. (Perhaps a cause of why there is so much confusion and disorganisation upon the beach later). Soldiers are shaking, praying and throwing-up. Historically, seasickness pills were issued out to all troops and yet many were still sick. Having the landing shot at dawn and when the tide was out produced an invaluable sense of reality for the following graphical scenes. Soldiers were able to take cover behind the heavy timbers because the tide was out. Operation Overlord (D-Day) called for the invasion to take place “as close to low tide as possible so that most of the German obstacles and mines could be seen” . Saving Private Ryan represented both the feelings of U.S. soldiers and the beach landing realistically and accurately.

Devastating injuries caused by the “lights of perverted science” were perhaps one of the most horrific outcomes of World War II displayed on and off film. New and increasingly efficient ways of killing had been invented and tanks were used a lot more than in world war I. The use of tanks are seen throughout Saving Private Ryan. Snipers firing on individuals, Automatic weapons, Mortar and artillery shells, transportable guns and mines on beaches are all shown at one point or another as well. Due to the nature of the weapons, soldiers were severely injured, limbs...

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