Art always has been an opener for lots of discussions and evolution. Art has come a long way from being signs and symbols in caves to the multi billion budgeted CGI enforced movies. But, time and again it has been proved that just the cost put into the making can never be the factor to make the creation a memorable one. Movies, books, paintings and music are one or the other way the reason for a continuous relay into the evolution of thought process.
It’s been very long since I have wrote on movies, in fact it has been long since I last watched them. This write up is about the inferences that grew over me while watching two movies at different times but of similar intensity. These two movies were released in the same year of 1998, both being critically acclaimed for the aesthetics and near real representation. Though, both of them have been criticised for using the creative liberty to fabricate real instances. Both set in the days of World war II, provides an insight into the psychological aspects of soldiers in war (At the least, it did for me!). Let me try put these movies and their impact on me in the order that I watched them.,
“Saving Private Ryan” directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, is a war drama film set on the Normandy invasions at Omaha beach by the American forces against the Germans during world war II. The story line starts with American soldiers dropped at the shores of Omaha by Naval vessels. The next twenty minutes of the movie showcases the cruelty of war right in front of our own eyes. The nervousness building within individuals, the sea sickness, the welcome array of bullets that leave the whole set up into a chaos, soldiers searching for lost parts of the body leaves a shocking impression for quite sometime. This sequence of war being an introduction to the madness of world war, the story sets off with the search for a private whose four brothers are found to be dead in action and the mission to return him back to America . The search and rescue mission by an ensemble company of soldiers and their experiences form the rest of the story. The variety of emotions that flow throughout their mission ranging from fear, pain, confusion, humanity, helplessness and sorrow provides a walk through the minds of soldiers at war. Though, the movie has a mild war heroism attached to it, every death and the helplessness attached to it very well portrays the brutality of war that unleashes on soldiers who end up on the battle field owing to the diplomatic stands of political delegates. The movie is filled with little detailing of the hard felt emotions of people at war including the sequence of a father trying to save his child by letting her go away from him, the individual confrontation between soldiers and the pain of desperately wanting to be back home.
“The Thin Red Line” directed by Terrence Malick based on semi fictionalised novel by James Jones. Set in the backdrops of same world war II, but on Battle of Mount Austen in the pacific between American allied forces and the Japanese empire. This is a movie that provides more psychological perception over war. The heavy use of voice overs and the travel back and forth between the most cherished memories of individuals to the madness of war provides a strange feel of guilt in the gut. The change of behaviour of peace loving people of the Solomon Islands before and after the commencement of war, the thirst for power that drives people crazy enough to let soldiers starve to death, the psychic state of settling up to nothing but conquering, the physical and psychological imprints that are created during the war and more. The Thin Red Line looks to draws a less heroic stance on war and its implication on mankind, at the least on the soldiers. This movie goes through various thought process that are involved in the chaos of war.
Though these movies can be easily marked as action packed war movies, one can never pass through these without pausing for a brief moment to cohere to the arrogance and madness that have been taught as heroism and patriotism for ages, killing thousands and thousands of soldiers, civilians alike. The read through emotions of each individual characters of movies of these kind, will provide a space for thought that shall never go along with the concept of war in the presence of slightest of common sense and empathy.
Relating the portrayal of wars in these movies to the ones that has happened post the world war times, for the mad race of power, international business, exhibition of ethnic, linguistic and religious supremacy chokes us out of words and emotions altogether. Adding to these lie the worship of war mongering in the name of patriotism, which turns out to be nothing but a hyper active psychopathic state expecting the downfall of one over the other for no reason other than being born accidentally under various ethnic, linguistic and racial groups in accordance to the geography.
Overall the achievements of wars will remain to be only broken toys and dreams of an ordinary human, nothing more.
Images : Googled