Thursday, May 13, 2010


Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Giovanni Ribisi, Adam Goldberg, Barry Pepper, Jeremy Davies, Vin Diesel, Paul Giamatti, Ted Danson, Dennis Farina, Nathan Fillion

 Saving Private Ryan is most likely the most realistic war movie ever made. On the other hand, how can I say that, since I don't remember being in the midst of WWII and witnessing it first hand?! Well, I guess i can't. However, watching this film I can say that I'm very glad I was never there.

 My first memory of this film is seeing it on the opening night in Helsinki's then #1 theater Bristol and being irritated about the quiet murmur that was among the audience as the soldiers were nearing the Normandy beach in the film. The audience just wasn't paying attention.. and then.. the ramps dropped and the hale of heavy mahcine gun fire shredded the soldiers to a pulp. And it wouldn't stop for the next half an hour. And finally the audience was fucking quiet! Their hands frozen midway between their mouths and the box of popcorn. The devastation that just exploded before their eyes was MASSIVE. Just like the film itself.

  Private Ryan loses his brothers in combat and being the last of the siblings alive, he gets a free ticket home from the front.. only problem is, no-one knows where he is in this massive war campaign. Que Hanks' squad of soldiers who get the mission to go out and find Ryan. But how many lives is it worth to find one man and bring him home?

 Saving Private Ryan is very well written and directed. It tackles some very heavy questions without being preachy or giving the answers. They leave it for you to decide, which honestly is a quality lost on some filmmakers, but not Spielberg who rarely ends up standing on a soapbox, no matter how personal the subject, like in the case of World War II. Where as Platoon wonders the horror of war, Ryan does the same, but with a more emotinal point of view.

 The all-star cast performs like a well oiled machine, with the supporting squad members emerging with no difficulty from behind the big names. Especially the cowardly Davies (TV's "Lost", Ravenous), sniper Pepper (Enemy of the State, 25th Hour) and the squad medic Ribisi (Avatar, The Gift) remind why we love seeing their names on the closing credits. Shit, at least I do!

Spielbergin sotaeepos on upea, tunteikas tulkinta ihmisen hinnasta ja toveruudesta. Siitä on syystäkin tullut sotaelokuvien klassikko säälimättömän ja miltei inhottavan realistisen otteensa takia. Elokuvan tullessa ensi-iltaan, näytöksiin kunniavieraina kutsutut WWII-veteraanit saivat sairaskohtauksia filmin alussa kuvatun Normandian maihinnousun yhteydessä, sillä se toi hieman turhan realistisesti kokemansa kauhut uudelleen silmien eteen. Saatan kuulostaa nyt hieman karkealta, mutta jos tuo ei ole rivien välistä luettava suositus elokuvalle, niin mikään ei ole.


 This video is NOT a trailer and contains heavy SPOILERS!


Ani said...

I'll watch this soon so I can comment on your review :) Excellent movie, though.