Born on the Fourth of July Reviews
Born On The Fourth Of July
Starring : Tom Cruise, Raymond J. Barry, Caroline Kava and Willem Dafoe Screenwriter : Ron Kovic and Oliver Stone Director : Oliver Stone
3 and a half out of 5
Born On The Fourth Of July is a character driven feature whose protagonist goes through a challenging emotional phase in his life after encountering some inedible and gut-wrenching truth back at the war. Such war based features often follow a rudimentary process that undermines the creativity or the originality of the material, but in here, it stands along on its format, as each single lose thread of the feature is reconnected or used up again wisely by the makers attaining the perfect balance of the drama of the characters and the brutality of the practicality projected in here. The camera work is plausible even though it could have been shot with more appetizing or at least attention seeking work, and it may be short on background score, sound effects and art design but is perfectly edited.
Oliver Stone; the screenwriter-director, keeps the audience engaged through its brilliant execution skill and his manipulative dramatic shots that easily breaks down into tears. Tom Cruise is in his A game (especially break down sequence where he confesses his sins) and doing some of his career's best work despite of not getting the essential support from the cast except for Willem Dafoe who helps him survive a mid-act sequence.
Born On The Fourth Of July is resurrected on incarcerating, both the good and bad deeds, whose unexpected influence led humankind to its doom.
Man, what a heartbreaking movie this is.
We all (should) know by now how wrong the Vietnam War was, but if you're somehow not convinced, give this one a watch. Although movies like 'Apocalypse Now' showcase the horrors of the war and present us with something more philosophical, I think this is the best movie made about Vietnam; at least that I've seen. It's certainly the most personal and heartfelt, and this comes down to a trio of incredible people. Firstly, Tom Cruise's performance in this role was...hard to put into words. I'll be honest - although I've always been a big fan of Cruise, I didn't think he could do something like this. But my word did he bring his A-game to this film, and his performance here is easily up there with 'Magnolia' as one of his best. Secondly, is Oliver Stone. Himself a Vietnam War veteran, you can tell this project held a particular place in his own heart, and its probably the best movie I've ever seen from him. And finally, is Ron Kovic, the veteran of whom this movie is based on and who also co-wrote the screenplay with Stone. His journey is truly heartbreaking and I'd be lying if I said I didn't shed a tear or two throughout. It's technically masterful too, with beautiful cinematography and an amazing score by John Williams; who also does some career-best work. Overall, this is not the kind of movie you can enjoy, and not the kind of movie you're going to feel like popping in every once in a while. It was a devastating experience that left me heartbroken and angry at the same time, but one that I'm sure will stick with me for many years to come.