25 September 2011

Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket, a 1987 war film first taking place at Boot Camp then transitioning over into the cruel world of the Vietnam War. This film gives you a first hand look at what Boot Camp and the war is really like and the toll it can take on your body and mind, sometimes making people go completely insane.

There is one character in particular that this film focuses on, and his name is Joker, played by Matthew Modine. He received the nickname Joker from his sergeant during Boot Camp after making a witty remark. As the film progresses it will make a drastic change and transfer you from the world of Boot Camp right into the world of the Vietnam War, where you will get to watch as friendships are made, old friendships are reunited, and friendships are torn apart by death.

Mise-en-Scene is used in fantastic ways in this film. Two aspects that I want to focus on are the lighting and the costumes in this film. First with the lighting, I found that in one scene in particular (I won't go into too much detail, so I don't spoil it for you) but it was a night while they were still in Boot Camp and it took place in the "Head" which was another name for the bathroom. The lighting was dark to capture the somewhat sort of eeriness and violence to that scene. The costumes in this film were very appropriate, because this was a war movie of course you are going to expect to see soldiers in uniform. In The Film Experience textbook it says that "costumes support scenic realism, they produce, as accurately as possible, the clothing and facial features of people living in a specific time and place." By the soldiers wearing their uniforms it makes the film even better, it makes it feel real. Because each soldier is wearing the same thing it makes it more unified. When we think of war, we tend to think of a band of brothers with the same goal in mind. So with all these soldiers wearing the same costumes, it gives the audience a sense that they are ready to get the job done.

I would recommend Full Metal Jacket as a film worth seeing, although pretty gory at times, it served as a great war movie. One person who has never been in war can't say they know exactly what war is like, but after watching this movie you can get a real sense of what it may be like. Not only does is take you right into the experience of war, but it walks you through the journey of Boot Camp and how soldiers start out from nothing or "Magets" as their sergeant calls them, and are transformed into real men who fight for their country.

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