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Warring World
Feb 23, 2001 09:47 PM 2660 Views





Saving Private Ryan is a great epic of the bitter ghastliness of war. It is a saga of relentless courage of man as individual and family. It gives us an eerie and powerful admonition of the truth of war.

The movie starts with the fluttering of a flag, as a World War II veteran walks past the countless crosses at a cemetery. There is a sad reflection in his damp eyes. The movie, then flashes back to 6 June 1944, the D-Day. Steven Spielberg has presented one of the best ever war-shot films of the century. CinematographerJanusz Kaminski and film editor Michael Kahn have aided him to achieve the realization of this brilliant motion picture.

Spielberg begins with a frightening surrealism as we descend from the gloomy skies of Omaha Beach of Normandy, where the biggest American army assault against the Germans is to begin. The transport boats carry the soldiers who stare at each other, with a cold fright on their faces, pondering over their impending destiny. As the soldiers pour out into the beach, Spielberg the master craftsman, begins to exhibit the sights and sounds of war. The audience sits spellbound with their emotions bombarded. Spielberg and his crew transports you through the savage carnage. Kaminski’s handheld camera travels through the grisly death, terror, confusion, fright and blood. Death is omnipresent striking swiftly. Spielberg has not left out any horror of the D-Day. The footage will wince you with a stomach-churning realism. Bullets rip past with a wanton lust for death, limbs are blown apart and bodies pile up on the beach. The gunfire silences the screams and the blue sea turns red. Pardon me, if I am so graphic about the events. But I only want to drive in Spielberg’s point that war is hell and there is no decency in warfare.

The soldiers get a foothold on the beach and systematically demolish German bunkers. The camera settles on a dead soldier called Ryan, who is one of the three brothers killed. A fourth brother is a paratrooper and is believed to be behind German lines. The Generals order for bringing back James Francis Ryan (Matt Demon) to his mother.

John Miller (Tom Hanks) who survived the D-Day invasion with a handful of his men is entrusted with the task of finding Ryan, like finding a needle in a huge hay stack. With doubts on the success of their mission, Miller leads his men forward. They march through the war-torn countryside looking for Ryan. Miller tries to pacify his men by talking good things to them and they come closer to each other, adding to the sentimentality of the film. They talk about their mothers, laugh, cry and an atmosphere of sadness engulfs them. Miller cries hysterically over the death of one of them. The duty and death form an irony for Miller. The succeeding happenings are portrayed in an adventurous and heartrending manner.

Saving Private Ryan is an emotional experience. Spielberg does not glorify war, but points his finger at the misery, savagery and tragedy of war. Tom Hanks as Captain Miller shines in brilliance. He exudes fatherly poise and human vulnerability. He is the cementing force of the movie with his roll as Captain Miller and has marvelled in his portrayal of the true feelings of compassion, humaneness, courage and human relationship.

There is no happy ending in war. Good men die for good men to carry the flame forward. The show never stops…. it goes on……………..

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