Tuesday, 8 March 2016
Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket
The film Full Metal Jacket firstly received much criticism after its release being called just another war movie, however in recent years the director Stanley Kubrick has been acknowledged for this brilliant piece of work not only for its commentary of the war but for the artistic way in which it is done. What most people say when you mention the film is that they only liked the first half of the marines training camp but given a closer look the camp is merely there to foreshadow the young troops involvement in the war. This can be seen with the speech given to the troops at the start of the film where the Sargent states that you need your killer reaction otherwise you yourself will be killed, compare this to the final scene against the sniper were joker misfires and is then quickly fired upon.
As for commentary on the Vietnam war Kubrick doesn't directly come out and say an opinion, he rather gives you the pieces to work it out, for instance when the platoon are clearing out the city Kubrick shoots them coming from left to right, the classic good guys on the right and bad guys on the left but then switches it around so you have the troops advancing fro the left. This makes the scene have a physical confusion and gives the idea that America is either the bad guys in the war or that the whole invasion is just as messy as this scene is visually.
Another way in which Kubrick comments on the war is offering the question who is the enemy, with many mentions of the soldiers not knowing who they are fighting, one quote summarize it well "if they run their V.C. if they don't run then their well trained V.C." this is the solution provided or excuse to kill the many civilians that the US army did during the war.
The film can also be interpreted as a feminist revenge story as it is well known that many US troops raped their way through the country and any women resorted to prostitution for money. Full Metal Jacket provides a look into this as the "lust hogs" barter for a women then one by one use her for obvious sexual gains, with one of the soldiers referring to sex as "boom boom". Now throughout the film sex and violence are constantly linked into one from "this is my rifle" as a way of mixing pleasure with killing to the name "lust hogs". The narrative of vengeful women is then completed when the "lust hogs" are gunned down by a single female sniper and as she is killed one soldiers even says no more "boom boom for her".
Kubrick is also praised for the realism of the training camp, with actor R.Lee Ermey who was an actual drill Sargent in the US military providing a gruesome depiction of what basic training was like. Private Pile is the unfortunate soldier who just can't take it and shows what could happen to the mentally weak and sympathetically shows the murder of their Sargent.