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Saving Private Ryan
|This is of course a Tom Hanks film about
one unit's mission to bring back Private Ryan, the last
of a trio of brothers who had all been slain in battle
during WWII. It is deemed that the US army owes at least
this much for his family. The mission seems quite silly
but the action is dead on serious. The Normandy landing
is not a slow progressive climb over the beaches as most
carefully edited US army footage from the past shows.
Instead the minute the landing crafts come near, German
mortars begin sinking ships. Machine gun bullets rip into
the boats and into the men even before they land. The
first step off the boat was the hardest. Germans in
fortified bunkers fire at will and from secure locations.
The landing finally is a success but only because the allies had such vastly superior numbers. Tom Hanks, was in the past a school teacher but now leads the mission to find Private Ryan. Ultimately he is found but not after many harsh battles. In one scene a German sniper is captured. He denounces Hitler and is allowed to leave providing he finds the nearest Allied base and surrenders. This childish trust of course leads to death in the end. The sniper who was allowed to go free, does what he does best later on and delivers expert sniper hits on allied troops including those led by Hanks.
The film features a realism of battle that is surprising considering the silly mission the film projects as its core theme. Saving a lone soldier when all the world is scorched and on fire seems a bit silly. But the film does present the realism to the highest levels. No film has projected the realism of the Normandy landings to the degree that this film has.
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