Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Full Metal Jacket

For this week's task I have decided to look at Stanley Kubrick's 1987 classic Full Metal Jacket.
Controversial for its depiction of hazing and the style of bootcamps used to train soldiers going in to Vietnam, it is an excellent look at the brutal conditions of Vietnam.

Personally, I really enjoy reading about Vietnam and the conflict in general. The film follows the experiences of the troops as they are caught in the middle of the Tet Offensive, a huge coordinated attack by the NVA that took place during the Vietnamese new year. The attack was massive, causing numerous casualties and deaths - something which was very important to the
Vietnam war cause. Because of the terrain and conditions and also because of the type of war it was, it was known amongst officials that, unlike previous wars, this would not be a war won by gaining land and invasions, instead it was to be decided on body count.

The film is notable for its brutal depiction of death and combat, controversial to come when considering that the war had only ended 13 years previously, and while most critics gave it rave reviews many felt that the often disjointed narrative in the film's climax undermined the rest of the film. What was universally praised however, was the realistic depiction of combat, and the soundtrack and audio effects, all of which helped to create an atmospheric and above all faithful representation of what war is really like.

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