It’s only Kubrick film which I watched earlier and repeated three times till day and the reason is as under.
There are very few War movies which portrays the feeling of disillusionment of soldiers and futility of War as Kubrick’s this film. Where other war films glorifies the saga of Patriotism entertaining the audience with blazing guns and tanks action sequences, this one highlighting the ‘Dark side of the Military War’. Creation of killing machines may seem necessary for modern imperialism of US but in its aftermath what is left is ‘Loss of Humanity and its Conscience.’
The basic theme of the film is divided in two parts. The whole first half of more than 45 minutes portrays the routine Marine training of the corps where we see that how the innocence of youth was transformed at general with verbal, oral, physical, mental assault by hard core trainer Sergeant Hartman (a character to watch without fail). The story focuses on the three US Marine Corps named as Joker, Cowboy and Pyle. During the last day of their military training Pyle shoots Sergeant shockingly with his rifle and than shoots himself.
The second half leads us to Vietnam War where Joker was assigned the task of military journalism and Cowboy was assigned to lead the platoon. Cowboy got killed during patrolling a sniper attack and the only man left is disillusioned conscience seeking Joker.
There are many memorable satirical scenes of the film. i.e. - a soldier told Joker to publish his brave story of killing many Vietnamese civilian women and children including buffaloes (since he can’t find the enemy soldiers). There are many ironies like this one. The juxtaposition of contrast is always there in Kubrick film and he used it quite subtly. Watch the scene where Joker was asked why he’s having a peace emblem button on his body armour when ‘Born to kill’ was the motto written on his military helmet and Joker replied that he believes in Jungian philosophy about duality of men.
The Director’s idea of this Kubrick film lies in the last scene of the film where the aggression of rest of the infantry contrast with Joker’s conflicted feeling of killing the suffering wounded female sniper. Kubrick slowed down the scene unlike others focusing Joker’s dilemma of ‘To be or not to be’. He’s asking himself that ‘If my enemy is human can he remain enemy?’ But finally he shoots her showing his human response unlike hate for the enemy who’s suffering and begging an easy death with one shot.
One more Essential Kubrick Watch.