Platoon

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For those without comedic tastes, the self-proclaimed experts at Wikipedia have an article about Platoon.

Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and stars Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. This epic feature takes back the viewers into the bloody era of the war in Vietnam. Place yourself in the shoes of Lieutenant Wolfe, a green infantry officer torn between the of the 101st airborne division.

In the opening scene of the movie, we meet the gentle Lt. Wolfe, as he is getting the news from his superior: You've got platoon! (meaning: you have a bunch of sorry sonsofbitches to take into the jungle), forced to make a tough decision. He must perform his duty and take his platoon into enemy territory, but making so, he might lose his love for to the manly Colonel Butcherson, already eying the "strategic properties" of the lovely general Kelly.

Setting

Okay, this movie is kinda confused so let me set the scene for you. I think it has to do with New York getting invaded by Vietnamese people, and the Americans fighting back: mainly with sociopaths. No no no, that's not right. It's set in the Vietnam War in the late 1990's, back when the interweb was invented. It's a cross between a playful, and quite clever, romantic comedy and a harsh, violent exposé on the horrors of war.

Characters

There's two main characters. Elias K. Grodin (played by Meg Ryan), who is the owner of a smalltime bookstore in New York City, is competing against a big time bookstore owned by Robert Barnes (played by Tom Hanks). Elias has been emailing a mystery man over the internet for a while now, looking to get a date. OH MY! It turns out it's her archnemesis: Barnes. Elias' screenname "shopgirl" and Barne's screenname "NY125" underscore the seriousness of the film. Barnes, who is a facially scarred psychopath, would rather kill her and innocent civilians than go out on a date. Uh, and he does. At one point, He also says "I shit on all of You."

Climax

At the end, Meg Ryan finds out that Tom Hanks is the mystery man, but as she looks into his emotionless eyes, she discovers too late that his intention is to kill her. Even after being shot a few times, she still has enough energy to outrun the Vietnam soldiers chasing after her, but it's too late: the rest of the platoon has abandoned the helipad already. Don't worry, it's one of those "they live happily ever after" endings that makes people cry, kiss, laugh... and think. Wait a minute! I thought everybody dies at the end! This war is fucked up. FUCKED. UP.

Metaphors

Barnes

Tom Hanks as Sergeant Barnes.

Platoon isn't just a good snuggle movie, it also has all sortsa meaning buried underneath.

  • Emails: The emails in the movie reflect the emails inside all of us. Within each of us is one single pop up ad, shining through the darkness in humanity to reveal that we really should search for our old classmates. Did she really marry HIM??
  • Guns: The guns in the movie, like the emails in the movie, reflect the guns inside us all. Buried deep inside the human heart is a gun, and it's all like: *POW POW POW!* *KAPOOWWWEEEE!* 'n shit.
  • Elias: Elias represents the tired, kindly guide. Tired of war, but kind through his sense of duty and honor. He also goes like *POW POW POW!* *KAPOOWWWEEEE!* but only sometimes. Wait, didn't I say that he was played by Meg Ryan? This is fucked up, man. This war is FUCKED. UP.
  • Shopgirl: Elias's screenname. It represents how everyone is a little girl inside. A little girl who likes shopping.
  • Barnes: Barnes doesn't represent anything.
  • NY125: Barnes' screenname also doesn't represent anything. That's how manly he is.
  • Tom Hanks: Tom Hanks in Platoon represents the "silly nice guy" like he does in every single movie he's ever been in.

Soundtrack

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Platoon's soundtrack has attracted much attention over the years from fans and onlookers alike. It has sold lots and lots of copies worldwide.

You've Got Platoon's Adagio for Strings is a classically composed piece from American composer Samuel Barber in 1936. It plays during the climax of the movie when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan finally realize their love for each other. It's one of those gushy songs that makes you go "aaaawwwww" and makes you want to make out with your BF... unless you're a man.

You've Got Platoon's other masterpiece, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, is not classically composed. It's really just shit. It plays at the finale of Platoon, where the troops are leaving the field and the main character (played by Tom Hanks and/or Meg Ryan) is commenting on how fucked up 'Nam really was.

Recognition

Platoon won the 1986 Academy Awards. It won them all. Basically, it's a good movie with a lot of heart warming moments. ...And there's a scene where a dude gets shot, 'n stuff! It was also given the 1997 Snuggle award for most gushy romance based on two protagonists who hate each other at the beginning but get married at the end. Wait a minute, I thought Elias gets shot at the end! Man, this war is fucked up. FUCKED. UP.

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