Saving Private Ryan, written by Robert Rodat, directed by Steven Spielberg
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
This is one of the best and most popular movies ever made.
It is at number 28 on the IMDB list of most popular films:
it has won five Academy Awards, been nominated for others and won multiple prestigious prizes around the world.
The film is also on The New York Times’ Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made List:
the story is overwhelming and believable: the many dead, the horrible violence, bravery and cowardice have been real.
It is also an interesting angle, with the Saving of Private Ryan at the forefront, but with the background of the World War II.
The cast is formidable:
- Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Paul Giamatti- one of my favorites, Ted Danson- an outstanding professional, Dennis Farina- very likeable and good, Bryan Cranston- Breaking Good in a brief role, Vin Diesel- somebody I do not care much for and so many other excellent actors…
And the director is Steven Spielberg, showing here that he can create anything and he really is one of the best…
The introduction is gruesome, but one of the best entries there ever was, with the invasion of Normandy.
June 6th, 1944 as it was, with many soldiers killed, acts of bravery but also the dark side of war that involved murder.
In one scene, some American soldiers advance towards Germans that evidently want to surrender, with hands up.
The “good guys” keep shouting to their enemies and these answer in…German, but it is not good enough and they are killed.
Unjustified and to make matters worse, if that is even possible, the murders mock their victims with…”look, we cleaned ourselves for dinner.
Captain Miller aka Tom hanks is witnessing this and so many other outrageous deaths, violence throughout the film.
He used to be a teacher of English in his civilian life, but he now has to cope with attempts at desertion and mainly… the Nazis.
The mother of Private Ryan has to receive three letters of condolences, for three of her sons killed in battle.
When they notice this, officials in the Army decide to try and Save the only remaining son, given that this mother has had enough sacrifice in the family.
So they send a team, led by Captain Miller, to extract Private Ryan and send him home from the front.
It is not just a difficult task, for on the way soldiers are killed- and spoiler alerts are not needed for that, because it makes sense, doesn’t it? - and at times all hell breaks loose, with acts of heroism and cowardice.
I thought that the take on this war was extraordinary in that it showed real life and what happens, not the fairy tales that are made up
At one point, one member of the team is really scared and as a consequence he cannot even move from the spot where he is.
If he did, he could save the life of one of his mates, engaged in a life or death struggle with the enemy.
But this anti-hero sits there on the steps leading to where his fellow soldier was giving his life for country and freedom.
And the audience can realize that this is a different film, for in other takes, heroes simply destroy the enemy.
Our side is better, always ready to shoot and kill, fly from danger and always shooting down the enemy tank or plane.
In this magnificent film we learn that it does not always work that way and heroes fight alongside ordinary men…