‘1 Man 365 Films 365 Days’ – Day 339

#355/ 365 – ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (1998) – 169 mins
IMDb Challenge #227 / 250 – Ranked #43 – DVD Collection

Three brothers are killed one after another in World War II. After the Army General Staff learns that a fourth brother is missing in the French countryside, a rescue mission is ordered to find the young soldier and return him safely home.

Saving Private Ryan opens with a 25-minute tour de force that is arguably one of the finest cinematic sequences ever committed to celluloid, and is undeniably for me the most violent and gory depiction of war that I have ever witnessed on-screen. The scene, from a soldiers perspective of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, is flawless not only in terms of Steven Spielberg’s and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski shaky hand-held camera technique, but also the depth of reaction it generates for the viewer. With explosions going off, it temporarily deafens you in the furor of the battle, slowly your hearing comes back on only to be presented with unforgettable bloody images of soldiers bodies being spliced to pieces by bullets and limbs being blown off, these are such some of the many brutal examples amongst the chaotic and frenetic carnage.

After surviving the attack of Omaha Beach, Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) and what remains of his company set of on their “It’s like finding a needle in a stack of needles.” mission. Here amongst some quiet but fantastic character building moments that flesh out the soldiers stories, with its desaturated color palette Spielberg meticulously and effectively recreates the period setting of the war-torn countryside of occupied France.

Tom Hanks heads a uniformly excellent cast, who each deliver memorable performances. Hanks as the teacher-turned solider with mix of weariness, resignation, and a devotion to duty gets the balance perfect.

Saving Private Ryan from one of the gods of filmmaking is a moving and powerful portrayal of the unspeakable horrors of war, and is one that etches into your brain long after the credits roll.

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2 Responses to ‘1 Man 365 Films 365 Days’ – Day 339

  1. K.D. says:

    Really amazing movie especially first 20 minutes,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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