2 pages/≈1100 words
Literature & Language
Movie Review: Full Metal Jacket (Essay Sample)
Movie Review: Full Metal Jacket source..
Student Name Teacher Name Class Name 25 August 2018 Movie Review: Full Metal Jacket “How tall are you!” Sergeant Hartmann barks. The private tacitly replies, “Sir, 6 feet sir”. “I never knew they stacked shit so high!” Hartmann bellows. This stunning example of the treatment of privates during their training at boot camp is a brilliant and moving characterization of the pressures and abuse that privates often felt in their preparation for battle in Vietnam. Attitudes towards the native Vietnamese and the depiction of prostitutes and crime capture the atmosphere real soldiers might have felt during their occupation of certain parts of Vietnam. Finally, the movie addresses very difficult ethical dilemmas one must face during war, as well as the emotional repercussions of one’s choices. Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket gives us a comprehensive overview of the circumstances and context of Vietnam War, as well as poignantly portraying the feelings and inner turmoil that soldiers often face. Primarily, the pressure on the privates to succeed is best shown through Gomer Pyle’s gradual mental decline into insanity. The movie is presented from a third-person point of view, but during certain moments, we are transported into the bodies of the soldiers. This initially happens when the drill sergeant is screaming orders at the privates, the camera switches so that Hartmann’s face is directly in front of your view. However, the harshness of the training regime is best illustrated by the privates’ alienation and mistreatment of Pyle for his incompetence and lack of physical ability. At one point, Pyle causes the entire group to do extra exercises because he snuck a jelly doughnut into his box. That night, the recruits restrain Pyle on his bed and each take a soap bar wrapped in a towel to viciously flog him. James Davis, or “Joker” who was initially tasked with overseeing Pyle, hits him the hardest, showing a betrayal of their friendship. Pyle slowly becomes more and more obsessed with the only thing he is good at, shooting guns, and he reaches a breaking point one night where he maniacally strokes his gun while performing drills. Hartmann is awakened by Pyle’s noises, only to be promptly shot by Pyle, who then commits suicide with his own gun. Pyle’s mental breakdown is a testament to the grueling and trying regime that privates experienced during the Vietnam War. Moreover, the attitudes of the soldiers towards the native Vietnamese, as well as the profile of the Vietnamese themselves are captured in Kubrick’s film. One of the most iconic lines of Western cinema, “Me love you long time”, is spoken by one of the Vietnamese prostitutes who is propositioning an American soldier. Her broken English and casual attitude towards trading sexual favors for money illustrates the corruption and desperation some of the individuals in Vietnam are faced with. Another great example of this desperation and lack of moral integrity is highlighted when one American soldier gets his camera ripped from his hands as he is taking a picture of scenery. The Vietnamese robber runs for a short duration before hopping onto a motorcycle: suggesting that this sort of behavior is routine and premeditated. In any scenario, Kubrick’s showing of interactions between American soldiers and Vietnamese natives defines key attitudes present in the actual war. Furthermore, the ethical dilemmas and emotional repercussions of war that are addressed by Full Metal Jacket are probably its most significant contributions to bringing us closer to the reality and experience of war. Joker’s deployment to Phu Bai and his participation with the Lusthog Squad in the Battle of Hue is the best depiction of this. While on duty with the squad, Crazy Earl, the squad leader is unexpec...
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