Sunday, November 28, 2010

Platoon (1986)

Oliver Stone’s ‘Platoon’ gives the first hand understanding on Vietnam War, seen through the eyes of a rookie named Chris Taylor enacted by Charlie Sheen. This is not just a war movie which endorses the heroic efforts of the soldiers against all odds but also carries with it a disturbing interpretation of psychosis in its true essence.

Even a single viewing renders the shades of war hard to evade from the mind. Stone’s personal experience at Vietnam helped him to forge the backdrop of the story. Apart from the unforgiving ambiance & physical exhaustion, our protagonist Taylor witness a budding conflict between his two commanding officers, ruthless Staff Sgt. Barnes & Sgt. Elias, companionate yet idealistic. I would prefer not to give away any further plot details.

Two decades have gone by yet this movie holds a profound connection with each of us who had the privilege to experience it. Tom Berenger as Sgt. Barnes & William Dafoe as Sgt. Elias gave one of their career’s best performances. There were many other prominent actors like Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker etc who were in their emerging stage of movie career. Apart from soothing soundtrack the actions sequences were well choreographed. Few movies of that era had depicted guerilla war fare so convincingly.

This movie does not glorify war, instead leaves it for us to decide its ramification. ‘Platoon’ is uncompromising & will make you depleted by the time credit starts rolling.

My Rating : 9/10


  1. Great review. I saw this in the theater when I was 17 years old, and it was very powerful and moving.

  2. Thanks Sparky. Yes this was one of the best war movie made by Stone.

  3. A truly great and influential movie. One of the ten best war movies of all time. I used to use it in my Military History class to teach small unit dynamics. Not only do you have the conflict between the sergeants, but you have the platoon divided between the dopers (doves) and boozers (hawks). Chris is torn between them at first.