Monday, March 10, 2014

263 of 1001 Movies: The Deer Hunter (1978)

Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken star in perhaps one of their more critically acclaimed roles in The Deer Hunter. It's a well done movie, but maybe it just seems there were a lot of other movies hitting the theater like this during that decade or I just wasn't in the mood for it, but I struggled to find my way into being interested in the story, or even caring about the characters though they had a lot riding against them. The movie though is a depiction that is true to the realities of the Vietnam war, and looks at how the lives of men who had been sent there were affected by the tragedies they saw.

Summary: Michael, Stan, Steven, and Nick are growing up, and as the arrival of marriage and a child on the way is awaiting one of the guys a war is also brewing that is going to send them all over seas to fight it. The men's time in Vietnam is horrific as they live as captives and witness innocent lives taken. Returning home will be hard for some as trying to live a normal life afterward after seeing the horrors of another world.

Acting: The acting is very believable from everybody in the movie, and even the women do a good portrayal of showing how the ripple affect of the men's treatment overseas devastated them once they arrive back home. Robert De Niro stars as Michael, who seems closest to his friend Nick, now Michael handles the horrors he sees in Vietnam a lot differently. It's affected him, and it's hard for him to be around people, but he seems to want to get back to normal as much as he possibly can even if he can rejoice about his return home. Christopher Walken's character, Nick, has been affected and he's handling much differently. He doesn't even seem to have accepted his survival, and that he is now able to get away from the horrors of the war, so instead he keeps seeking it out. Steven was the only other I saw that went over seas with them, and he is portrayed by John Savage who gives one of the most heart wrenching performances of the movie as someone who has been affected not just mentally, but physically, and it's put a wrench in everything he would have been imagining in his life after that. Now the other major star of the movie is Meryl Streep as Linda, and she does portray the woman who is in a bit of a love triangle as two men do fall for her. No one ever gets in a battle over her, but the feelings they had for her show how the war changed their priorities as well.

Filming: The movie is very dark and bleak, but I like how the movie shows the contrast of their lives with their life before they left for the army. It conveys the hardships that happened to them, and makes you sad for what they lost by just how jovial they create the beginning. The movie also captures the scenes to make them very intense when the movie finally reveals it's direction.

Plot: The plot is one that takes a hard look at the decision that affected people's lives in ways that they couldn't live normally again. If you're looking for a more real and hard look at the tragedies of war then this one doesn't hold back, and so far it's depiction is different than other Vietnam based movies coming out that were critical of the war. I believe that the movie also is very masculine, and for some reason I couldn't relate to some of the themes. I was excited to see Meryl Streep in another role though.

For movies that covered this often during the time this is a stand out, and an unique depiction of how it changed people, especially in scary ways. With great performances it proves why it won Best Picture. It was well done, but as said I must have not been in the mood because I felt sort of bored, and just not quite moved.

Rating 7.5 of 10.

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