The one factor that can't be diminished is how realistic 'Platoon' is, and with the film being personally undertaken through Oliver Stone's personal experience whilst fighting in Vietnam, it's clear as to why. Francois Truffaut once famously said that "there's no such thing as an anti-war film", suggesting that movies depicting war will inevitably glorify it nonetheless - had he lived long enough to see 'Platoon', he may have retracted that statement.
Not only does Stone focus on the horrors of war between the US army and the NVA, but also the personal vendettas within the US army itself, namely between Sergeant Barnes and Sergeant Elias, portrayed by Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe respectively in fantastic performances, Berenger in particular who gives a performance like no other. Who would've known you could hate an American sergeant so much... well Berenger sure helped us. The film doesn't glorify war, nor does it glorify the American army, it focuses on the human element, the hard-hitting reality, but also showcasing a divide in the American army between those fighting for a reason, then those who have little-to-no sympathy for those around them.
'Platoon' is powerfully intense, from the opening use of the 'Adagio for Strings', to Dafoe's defining moment, arms outstretched, right through to the intense finale, which unfortunately in my own opinion does feel a little anti-climactic.
Anyway despite the positive aspects of this powerfully-intense film, there are some areas that I personally think it lacks in, thus making it weaker than others in the Vietnam war genre. Now the CGI is something I'm going to skip over due to the time period, but I couldn't help but laugh at the over-the-top lighting effects and the concluding jet that seems to defy the laws of gravity, but I will let this slide. The main reason I haven't selected this film as a masterpiece, despite it being so well-made, is due to the emotional detachment from the story, and to be honest, the little sympathy I had for the film's characters, maybe I'm just heartless, but I feel that there are other war films out there that are more emotionally-poignant and hard-hitting, and as I previously mentioned, the ending felt very anti-climactic. The battle itself is intense and extremely well-executed, but when it comes to the personal one-on-one between Taylor and Barnes, it just falls short. These flaws aside, I can't praise Oliver Stone enough for the harrowing experience that is 'Platoon'.
Amazing acting throughout.
When we see we come from various parts from where we come from. When we see we are fighting for some people when they are our loved ones back home. When we see in these parts we faces any outcome and challenge when our eyes are always on approaching enemies and mind on our loved ones back home. When we see whom we came here for, to not move when it gives away our location when the enemy approaches. When we see that others have their eyes always open to have our back and see to it we are alive. When we see that we must fight through anything including pain to survive. When you can't hide when we can see you. When we see to it we have as many men as we can to fight and have our back. When we need to see our troops are on their toes, alert and ready to fight when we are in charge if them and we must work together. When we wish not to see somethings, but have to when they are orders. When we can't see some people joining up to find out we volunteer to serve. When what we see, we see all to often when we come from places and lifestyles that makeup our views to see life as it is. When we see we must fit in with those whom have our backs when we are all seeing the same shit and fighting the same shit to know we are seeing eye to eye on somethings. When what see we can't believe when it's crazy & relaxing.
When what we see we don't like, when we are walking in on all sorts of life to see whom has it in them to fight and withstand the odds to go even further into enemy lines. When we see that we are in need of a break from it all when what we see keeps us down. When we see there are no walks of life when they flee when they know we are coming. When we see that we have to keep our eyes everywhere and make sure we are prepared and certain we are safe. When we see that they could be hiding anywhere when they have already been here. When some walks of life we see we are not bothered by when we got greater fears to worry about. When we see some still remain hidden. When we see that we have been lured into traps when we can't help but want to see something's useful. When something's we see we can't help but see when war is cruel. When something's we see we wish not to see but can't help it when it's better to know then wonder. When something's we see we hate when we see they are all the same enemy. When what we see we hate when we hate being here. When what we see is victory, and expects others to surrender when they are not the dominant ones. When what we don't see we add to the fuems of evil to a war that makes us seem we are on the wrong side when we see our targets and aims are on innocent people. When we see ourselves in charge to have full control of lives and the situation to get information and send the message of whom we are. When what we see is the total destruction of lives torn apart for the sole purpose of war. When what we see is our humanity disappearing when we don't see the lives that are at cost when we treat them less of a human being. When something's we don't need to see but feel that it hurts, that what we are fighting for is uncertain whether its right or wrong. When we see we are fighting in the worst conditions to know it ain't pretty as what is above when we are looking at the night time stars. When what we don't see, our enemies opportunize when they see us and aim at us. When we see that we have plans how we attack while others do, when we are aiming at the same people including ourselves at times when we can't agree to see eye to eye on everything. When we see that we want to go home alive, when we wish to see our plans after war to go through when we are done. When we see we are taking heavy fire and can't see where it's coming from to fire back. When we see that we must pull back and regroup while we can when they are heading towards us with full frontal attack. When we see there is no large enough army to take us down when we are in full assault mode. When we see in the fog of war are the fatalities that die by our own men that we don't see but others see. When we see we must carry the bodies of the dead back home, when we see to it we leave nobody behind. When we see that we couldn't get everyone when it's too late and we can't go back. When we see some of us are really tough soldiers when we can take so much and still be able to stand up for one last chance at an afterlife after war. When we see that we made it and others didn't to know the realities of war is some of us make it and others don't and we must rely on us. When what we see we based on the eyes of those whom we judge when it says something about them. When we see that we can't trust those to lead us, regardless of how much they have seen and been through. When we have to see those whom we disagree with but have to see regardless when we are all in this war together. When we don't need to see when we hear the news of other soldiers like us got hit worse too to see we are losing this war. When what we do see and hear are those whom we rely on not seeing and hearing us out to know we are fighting each other as well. When what we see is a bunch of soldiers ordered to work together when they can't and we are fighting the same war but can't seem to find our aim when our enemy's targets are hitting us and we are hitting nothing but ourselves to know why we are losing this war in the first place. When we don't see is we didn't bother to check our egos and power struggles at home before we enlisted and joined to take each other backs and arms to fight. When we see that we are all suffering in pain one way another, when we are uncertain of the outcome when we have no positive enforcements, no good news, no good leadership taking us to victory and back home. When we do see is some tickets heading back home when it's the only way out to what we signed in for. When what we see is not the mindsets that bring us together or give us the strength to fight, when we don't see eye to eye on what is on our mind. When what we don't see we hear when our own men can't speak when they are dead and what we hear is our enemies on the other end. When we prefer to fight at certain times when others can see our position clearly when they know where we are firing from. When we see that our back is running away when they see how many there are to stay to get killed. When we see that we are losing our position and grasp of this war when we are too busy hiding rather than fighting. When we have to be careful that we don't close our eyes when we wake we don't want see our enemies on the other end. When what we can't seem to hear or see on the other end is help to back us up when. When we see is our enemies everywhere, sacrificing themselves to kill as many of us, and picking us off one by one even our own when we know the end is now and we have one last chance for revenge and see to those pay for their betrayal. When we see that we position ourselves to survive a full out assault destroying everything in its paths. When we get to see the light of day, when we see we survived the impossible when everyone else died and we are in bad shape. When we see others survive to know where our target remains. When we see that reinforcements came at the right time. When we see that reinforcements came on time at the cost of so many enemy soldiers and too late for many of ours. When we see that we made it out of enemy lines, and some of ours whom we started with. When we see from another point of view the cost of war to know what was it all for to see all the destruction and suffering it leaves us during and after war that remains with us and in history. When it's hard to see a life of war that remains with us when we are responsible for so many deaths to know what do we see and whom do we see when its all over when we are judged.