Saving Private Ryan Essay, Research Paper
To further my understanding of global war, peace and justice I viewed the film Saving Private Ryan. This film perfectly ties in with our current war theme in Excel, for it shows the injustices of war, the brutality of war and also the good that may come of war. Furthermore, watching Saving Private Ryan was a great way to get a real sense of war.
Saving Private Ryan certainly had a nicely followed story line while giving the realistic and brutal views of war. The story takes place in 1944 around Normandy. The story starts out when Captain John Miller, played by Tom Hanks, is ordered to retrieve from the battlefields a young Private, played by Matt Damon who has just lost three brothers in the war. The caught is that they do not know where in the battlefields of WWII this particular Private is, so a crew of approximately 8 men was formed to assist the Captain in his mission. As the story continues the crew makes many enemy confrontations and several of the crewmembers die. They walk on, endangering there lives for weeks until they finally discover the man they have been looking for, Private Ryan, only to discover that he does not want to go home. Instead he chooses to stay with his very small troop and fight to protect the last bridge which can be used to transport goods into strategic battle areas. Although puzzled by this behavior the search party agrees to stay and help. They are victorious with the newly gained strength of a larger company, but the brave John Miller who had pushed on to retrieve young Private Ryan is fatally wounded in the battle.
Throughout the mission the men question whether or not one mans life is worth risking the lives of their entire crew, especially when members of the outfit, including John Miller, get killed in short and violent German attacks. Though this question was never directly answered, Private Ryan shows his gratitude to John Miller in a touching graveyard scene at the very end of the film.
Along with this cleverly entertaining story lines were great lessons about war in general. First of all this movie showed how brutal war can actually be and with amazingly graphic detail. To better explain, in the opening scene thousands of men were being unloaded on to Omaha beach, were the German enemy was waiting with powerful guns and other destructive artillery. The Germans, who were positioned on a close by hill, literally blew the American troops away. Peoples heads were busting open with the impact of a bullet, soldiers intestines were spilled all over the sand and the seas edge was died red with American blood. This 20 minute battle scene made me realize how brutal war actually is by showing me, close up, what it was like to fight in the front line. Moving on, Saving Private Ryan also showed the camaraderie fellow soldiers gain while fighting in a war. This was demonstrated throughout the entire movie but brotherhood was especially achieved in the retrieval troop. Since the movie focused mainly on this group of men, it displayed how each of them bonded closely by sharing stories from there home town, telling about their girlfriend or wife they missed so much and even crying on each other’s shoulders as the witnessed a friend or fellow American being murdered. Lastly, Saving Private Ryan shows how chaotic and unjust war can be. In other words, the plot of the movie was that a group of men must risk their lives to retrieve a man who has done nothing extraordinary, but has lost 3 brothers. This was an injustice in itself, for it is not truly fare for several people to die for one ordinary soldier. Also, it was a great injustice that three out four sons were taken from their mother by the war, in fact Private Ryan was taken home to lessen the grief of his mother. In all Saving Private Ryan did a terrific job of showing how war can be brutal, unjust and at the same time produce beautiful brother hoods between fellow soldiers.
In summation the film Saving Private Ryan took my knowledge of war to a new level. It made me emotionally feel what war was actually like and I can now say I truly have compassion and understanding for the soldiers of the globe who have fought in one of this worlds many wars.