Chris Taylor is a young, naive American who gives up college and volunteers for combat in Vietnam. Upon arrival, he quickly discovers that his presence is quite nonessential, and is considered insignificant to the other soldiers, as he has not fought for as long as the rest of them and felt the effects of combat. Chris has two non-commissioned officers, the ill-tempered and indestructible Staff Sergeant Robert Barnes and the more pleasant and cooperative Sergeant Elias Grodin. A line is drawn between the two NCOs and a number of men in the platoon when an illegal killing occurs during a village raid. As the war continues, Chris himself draws towards psychological meltdown. And as he struggles for survival, he soon realizes he is fighting two battles, the conflict with the enemy and the conflict between the men within his platoon. Written by
Every once in a while I will watch this film again and see if maybe I have grown tired of it. Surely after "Saving Private Ryan," "Titanic," "Crimes and Misdemeanors," or "Schindler's List" I have seen a better film. Well, after every viewing there is something about Oliver Stone's masterpiece that keeps me saying that I have never seen anything better.
I am a sucker for Vietnam pictures. "Apocalypse Now" and "The Deer Hunter" also rank in my top ten of all time. Stories about Vietnam can run the entire gambit of human emotions. "Platoon" is not only a documentation of America's sordid involvement in a foreign civil war, it is also a dramatic story of human response. A life developing in the most horrible of places.
There have been films put together better. There have been films with more detailed and interesting plots. But none have ever told a more touching story of human development set in the backdrop of bloody violence and inhuman suffering.
Rating: 10 out of 10.
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