"Glory" is one of those films you keep on thinking about days after you've seen it. Movies like this, most of the time, mean one thing and that is that they are of great importance in one way or another. "Glory" is no exception.
Yes, there are a million war movies out there but only a handful, "Glory" included, that accurately portray what it means to be fighting in war, both physically and mentally speaking. Based on the experiences of the colored 54th Massachusetts Infantry enlisted to help during the Civil War, "Glory" speaks volumes on themes such as honor, duty, and love--things not only directed towards the country being fought for, but also towards the fellow men fighting alongside. "Glory" strongly invests itself in such classical themes of the American cinema and turns out to be one of the greatest and most valuable films of all time.
Performance-wise, this is illustrative of what coalesces when several fine thespians unite for one cause. Denzel is in no uncertain terms unworthy of his oscar award-winning performance, arguably the finest of his career. Broderick is nothing less than brilliant and captivating as Colonel Shaw. The performance required of him--he has to display his inherited abolitionist views on the surface while underneath, harboring a plenitude of humanity his soldiers initially think he lacks--is a hard one and he unexpectedly demonstrates he can do it as easily as he skipped school in the now cult-classic "Ferris Bueller's Day off." Morgan Freeman, as always, is effective as the wise one who knows that brains, not brawn, wins wars. Cary Elwes also deserves recognition for his contribution as Forbes.
The cinematography is without a doubt some of the finest I have ever witnessed. Every scene seems to jump out of itself as if it were a painting sitting in a museum. The score, as many have mentioned, is also an essential facet of the overall experience of "Glory." I guess films like these are the reason for all the hype over state-of the-art- DVD sound.
At the end, all we can ask ourselves is "What did I just see?" and why Shaw, at one time in the movie, tells an onlooker, "remember what you see here." Although the war is lost in physical, concrete terms, there is something truly "great"--call it heroic if you wish--suggested by such a loss. My only hope is that more people see "Glory" because it is one of those rare films that accomplishes, with utter poignancy I might add, in demonstrating both what movies and, ideally, this country is made of. And that everyone who calls him or herself human realizes that, as the movie points unequivocally to at the end, although our music may sound different, we're all in the same boat together.
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