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Tuesday, 5 October 2010
‘The first casualty of war is innocence’ is the tag line for Oliver Stones first film in his Vietnam War trilogy, Platoon (1986) followed by Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Heaven and Earth (1993). Stone himself served in the conflict and used the film to relate his own experiences as a young soldier.
Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) is a nineteen year old middle class naïve American who upon arriving in Vietnam quickly discovers that he does battle not only with the Viet Cong, but also with the gnawing fear, physical exhaustion and intense anger growing within him. While his two commanding officers (Tom Berenger and William Defoe) draw a fine line between the war they wage against the enemy and the one they fight with each other. This in turn has a lasting effect on our once clean cut American solider.
This powerful war film is a harsh coming of age drama, a modern classic with a shortage of heroes and one of Stones most accomplished pieces of work. Deservedly won the Academy Award for best picture in 1986.