Movie Review: Saving Private Ryan

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After D-Day, 1944, eight men are sent on a mission to find one soldier, who's 3 brothers have been killed in action. The leader, Captain John Miller, has to hold his unit together during the fight against incredible odds to save Private Ryan. The main conflict between the characters is vividly described. This movie shows the horrors of WW II and the emotions of the men in it.

The main conflict is well thought out and easy to understand: why is the life of one man, and the sorrows of one woman, worth the lives of 8 soldiers? An illustration of how the characters deal with the central conflict comes when Ryan refuses to go home with them. The squad had lost two men along the road to find him and bring him home safely! Ryan's refusal caused a serious outbreak of emotions among the team. All of the men had a serious problem with the fact that he was not willing to comply with their mission. Once Ryan heard that they had already lost two men he was a bit more responsive, but he still refused to comply with the request. The men started to understand this better once he explained that he wanted to stay with the only brothers he had left, because they had the same feelings of honor for friendship as Ryan did. Wartime situations create more opportunities for men to show their honor, courage, and loyalty for others because they are needed to survive.

An example of the attention paid to character development is the variety of characters that are presented. The religious sniper, the rebellious heavy weapons specialist and the faithful sergeant are just three examples. All of the characters have different reactions to the situations. One of these moments in which that becomes clear is when the squad attacks an MG emplacement, and one of their men dies. When they discover a survivor reactions vary from: “Kill him!” to “Let him go, he was only following orders!”

This movie was a real shock to me because I had never realized how barbaric war really is. The scenes is this movie gave me a big jolt to the heart, and made me rethink my opinion of war. “Saving Private Ryan” creates a realistic view of one of the most important battles during WW II, and portrays the emotions of the men in vivid detail. Great sound, brilliant visuals and a well written script that keeps you on the edge of your seat, make this an excellent war movie.