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
Platoon left me absolutely numb after watching it. Oliver Stone,(Who in fact did serve in Vietnam) did a fantastic job telling this story of the horrors and the insanity of the Vietnam war. What's to be admired about this film, is that Stone doesn't sweet-talk the story, with the good old American boys fighting for their country and facing brutality, instead he brings up a strong morality and humanity issue. It's wasn't all black and white, it wasn't one person was wrong, one was right, there was all shades of gray in between. He uses the characters of Sergeant Barnes and Sergeant Elias (both played brilliantly) as symbols of good and evil clashing into one another. Charlie Sheen (Chris, the narrator of the story) is in a sense torn between both, they are both a part of him as he tries to deal with things falling apart all around him. Vietnam was a senseless war, and Platoon tries to understand why we went through it and how we ever got through it.
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