The Deer Hunter (1978)

The Deer Hunter
Directed by Michael Cimino
(number 468)

Well….this was probably the hardest movie to watch so far… there’s a reason I try to avoid war movies. I’m really not good at seeing the horror… the awful things that people do to each other in a war situation. The pain of leaving loved ones behind, the trauma that people go through… it’s all a bit much for me, honestly.

Does it make me love the people? Absolutely. The whole first sequence is dedicated to showing these bright young men in their ordinary world, getting married and going hunting before they head to Vietnam. Getting drunk, loving life and being great friends to each other.

To say that it’s jarring when they head to Vietnam is an understatement, since the first thing that Steve, Stan and Nick see is Michael throwing a grenade into a bunker full of women and children. It doesn’t get any easier from there… beautiful little Chris Walken is made to participate in Russian Roulette… there’s horror of all kinds… It’s a hard movie. There’s no getting around how hard it is to watch.

I don’t know if I have much more to say? It’s fantastically acted, of course it is, it has De Niro, Streep and Walken as main characters. It’s beautiful and it’s vicious and it’s harsh. The reality of the war, the things people did and how it affected them.

There is a wonderful line of brotherhood though, where De Niro does everything he can to protect his friends. Even to the point of rounding them up and bringing them home. Well….. as best he can… oh god the heartbreak. It’s an extraordinarily long film as well, 180 mins + spare change.

Bechdel test: Nope. Some of the wives may speak to each other but it is about the men. Another definitely very masculine film, from the male point of view.

Best line:
“I want to go home!”

State of Mind: Relief it’s over and…. pretty much need to watch something comforting now. Pokemon go!


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