Saving Private Ryan Essay, Research Paper
When I watch this movie, I think of a game of chess. Each team is a different color, like the different nations fighting against each other. With each skilled move, you have to take a chance, but regardless you are going to lose some of your teammates. Just like war, there can be only one winner. In the first scene, the first soldiers to get off the boat get killed, and these would be considered the pawns. In the game of chess, each team has two rows. The first rows are the pawns, the first to die. Then there is the king in a game of chess is the leader, like Tom Hanks as the commander/Captain. The queen in a chess game is able to do anything, but she mostly protecting the king.. Tom Sizemore plays the Captain s trusted right hand, and he would be considered the queen in the movie.
Saving Private Ryan clearly shows that real war, so appalling, not the waving glorification that you usually see at the movies, is hell on earth. This movie is not an anti-war film, but it shows what the men are really there for. As a critic, I am going to take on the feministic view of the film. This movie shows America the dark side of the face of war whereas the movies back in the 40 s were not aloud to show what the war was really like for men. It shows a great absence of women in the film. This film was rated many times as a feministic movie because of the intensity of the story and because of the people dying. All in all it is a sad film. As a feminist, I would say that war movies are just another excuse to show how dominating and powerful men are. This is a major issue in today s society.
War movies give filmmakers an excuse to do what, in any other format, would be considered suspicious these days: valorize a world of men (Goldstein). It is where the only defense is the cohesion of the male unit. Again, male gender is more dominating.
The image that most affected me in this text was the scene right after the opening image, when it is the D-day opening on Omaha Beach. This scene is so graphic showing how so many of these men died for our country and what the surviving men had to witness. According to Barbara Shulgasser, an feminist examiner movie critic, states, The D-Day landing on Omaha Beach was a slaughter, and from the first moments you have a profound understanding of how capricious the fates were. She also states, Every day forward from that moment in the movie seems a bonus, and you may feel that way about your own life, too. Shulgasser agrees that this scene in the movie will be the most horrific and emotional because you witness so many casualties at one time. Not one time did you even see a woman in this scene. The whole time that I was watching it, I was thinking to myself, I am glad that I am a woman so that I did not have to go through that.
Bob Graham, a Chronicle Staff Critic, states,
The D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, is presented as a prologue to the story. In a 20-minute sequence, Spielberg is unrelenting in showing the horror of the event. We witness guts spilling out, a dazed soldier picking up his own severed arm, another dragging his legless body. The soldiers pray, they shake with fear, they scream in rage and, dying, they cry out for their mothers.
Graham is making the point that we, the viewers, may not want to see what the war was actually like, but we do watch it. We see all the blood and gore, not to mention all of the emotional agony that these men went through. In the 40 s, you never would have seen men crying for their mothers, like a female. That is what makes this film feministic.
Here these men are running up the beach getting slaughtered and the closest we have to come to such a tragedy is watching it on a television screen. It is all about how the men saved our country and the women did not. Yet again, the men being shown as more powerful.
Showing a movie that reveals the dark side of war pertains to the audience because it tells us what the war was really like, for the men. But where are the women while all of this is going on? Women are virtually absent from Private Ryan, and they appear only in a soft-focus montage of breasts and lapping waves (Goldstein). It tells us what those innocent male soldiers unwillingly had to do for their country, even if it meant dying for it. Not only that, but also this kind of movie explains why the new generation of war movies leave so little room for romance. The real passion is the bond between man, and the closest thing to a fervent embrace occurs when the living nurse the dying (Goldstein) . Most movies are considered to be feminist when there are a lot of sad parts, or there is a lot of romance, or even a lot of nurturing. The relationship in this movie deals with the commander and his boys because women are totally absent. Women are viewed as objects. Women appear, only very briefly, as mothers, wives, typists (Gans).
At the end of the movie, it is like a checkmate because our army guarded the bridge and did not let the Germans take it.