After the heart wrenching story that created The Deer Hunter, watching Apocalypse Now is a little sickening. There couldn’t be a deeper contrast in the portrayal of Americans in war, and this film displays some soldiers (at least in the beginning) as indestructible barbarians out for the kill. I’m only an hour in, and something tells me that rather than just diving right into the suffering, as Deer Hunter did, this will be a painfully slow progression into an indescribable nightmare.
Martin Sheen was the star of my least favorite movie of all time: Badlands. His character is slightly more redeeming in this film, it’s just that when he kills people now he has the approval of US Army Sergeants. This is difficult for me to watch, as yesterday I became so attached to these simple boys from Pennsylvania who really didn’t have a clue. And today, Robert Duvall “had that light around him, one that showed he wasn’t gonna get a scratch.”
The famous scene that just played was the one in which the Americans are flying in on helicopters blasting Flight of the Valkries. This was played as a mechanism of fear, as to show no question of the task at hand. However, before they are seen, it is a simple village with children singing and farmers working, until they are ambushed by the American choppers. These innocent citizens, and the barbaric way in which they were slaughtered, makes me despise war for how it wholeheartedly shatters any faith or pride in the world.
There seemed to be a level of sarcasm in the dialogue during this scene, however. A chopper exploded and Duvall screams “What savages!” It causes you to stop and think of the order of events that just happened. Perhaps that’s the entire point. The sarcasm leads to success: feeling that these acts are absolutely despicable.
I liked it, I suppose. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. Movies I love do not have to be comedies, they don’t have to be romances, or even family dramas, they just have to have that one character to root for. As forApocalypse Now, I couldn’t tell if it was just Martin Sheen or it was his character, maybe a combination of both, but I couldn’t get in touch with him. His experiences, yes, but not his heart and soul like so many other characters I’ve seen.
However, at the end of the day, the film does exactly what it sets out to do. It paints a horrific picture of what Vietnam was, a seemingly endless strand of brutal attacks all thrown together, without much success other than to just get the hell outta there.