The Historical Relevance of the Movie "Saving Private Ryan"
The Hollywood movie "Saving Private Ryan" by Steven Spielberg (1998) is renowned for its historical relevance, especially the world history during World War II. …
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Besides, the movie acts the role of a link between past and present. Thesis statement: The movie "Saving Private Ryan" is historically relevant because it portrays World War II from personal and general perspectives. Plot summary The movie begins with a World War II veteran’s (Ryan) visit to Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France. The film is presented as a flash-back, which represents the Normandy Invasion of 1944, undertaken by America and its allies against German control over French territory. The initial landing on French soil was undertaken and successfully accomplished by Captain John H. Miller. Dancyger opines about Miller that “His conscious self-sacrifice to save Ryan elevates the premise of the narrative to mediation on the question of what is worth dying for, and the film implies that there are issues and events in life that are worth dying for” (197). Then, the whole attention is shifted to the main plot of the story. Within this context, General George Marshall came to know that Ryan family is to be informed that four brothers are lost during the war. But George Marshall was aware of the fact that Private First Class James Francis Ryan (fourth brother) was not dead but missing in action. The following part of the film revolves around Miller’s attempt to find out Ryan. The troop members travel through Neuville, Vierville and Ramelle and finds out Ryan. In the end, Ryan and others survive and Miller was succumbed to death. Then the viewers came to know that the old man in the beginning of the film who visit’s Miller’s grave was Ryan. Historical relevance As pointed out, the movie "Saving Private Ryan" is interconnected with one of the important events during World War II. Within this context, the movie can be considered as attempt from the director to commemorate the soldiers who fought bravely to save the whole world from Nazism and Fascism. Besides, the director makes use of the main character (Miller) as a mouthpiece to communicate with the viewers. The director shows ample importance to the relationship between past and present. The first scene in the film represents the present condition, in which a World War veteran visits a grave yard. When the camera suddenly shifts attention to another scene, and the time element becomes stagnant. This leads to a sequence of scenes in which the camera focuses upon the hardships faced by the soldiers during the World War II. As the whole world was undergoing imminent threat from Adolf Hitler and his ideology of Aryan supremacy, the plot selected by the director can be considered as historically relevant. The movie’s plot is interconnected with war history, especially the World War II. But the director does not try to portray the World War II as a whole. Instead, he made use of a specific incident within the World War II as the plot for his movie. For instance, the Invasion of Normandy in France by America (say, in 1944), and its allies was an important event during the World War II. It paved the way towards the ultimate downfall of Adolf Hitler. Instead of telling the story from a third person perspective, the director made use of the character Miller as the eye witness and participant of the war. Within this context, the film must be considered as a tribute to the soldiers who fought for the wellbeing of humanity. One can easily identify that the physical and mental trauma faced by the soldiers during World War II is an eye opener for the whole world. The director gave ample importance to the combat scenes and same is to be considered as a kaleidoscopic vision into the darker side of war. Besides, the movie represents the survival instinct of human beings in critical
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