We Were Soldiers, a 2002 film directed by Randall Wallace and based on events that occurred in November 1965. The movie takes you to the beginning of Vietnam War, a gruesome and spectacular event. The French Defense Forces had been engaged in guerilla war, but without success. The United States of America were faced with a brand new enemy, and they didn’t know what to do. Randall introduces to the audience the families of most soldiers at the start. This tactic is not only effective in keeping the audience’s attention, but also shows the level of care they have for the characters and the story. Randall conveys two important concepts in the film. He illustrates that war can be an effective weapon against evil or enemy. Randall, although it was a challenging task, illustrates how the defense force on both sides is loyal to each other.
Mel Gibson’s portrayal of Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore is a mature character to his family. Madeline Stowie shows him respect for his service in the military. Lt. Col Moore warns his soldiers that they will be leaving home for a place far away. Then he adds that if the troops plan poorly and do not execute their tactic correctly, they could be overrun by the enemy. To me, this means they are responsible for taking care of each other during the exchanges with the enemy. The mission will be successful if they sacrifice for one another. To some, the fact that they will be fighting their enemy in the faraway home may not inspire them.
The soldiers are saying goodbye to each other and their families. Lt. Col Moore then leads the 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry out to the Valley of Death. This is a powerful and emotional scene. Emotionally captivating in that men have tears streaming down their cheeks, not realizing they may not be able to return home. It’s brilliant in that we are only able to imagine their fate on the battlefield. This film is a perfect example of what those soldiers go through. Their wives also feel less worried, as they pray for the safe arrival of the troops. In a certain scene, I did not initially think that Lt. Col Moore was going to survive. On the other side of the film, Madeline Stowie is cleaning. This creates a stark contrast between the war in Vietnam and the daily life of these military spouses.
The more one watches this film, the better they understand what happened during the Vietnam War. You usually hear war stories from people who have fought without any real life experience. This is not a simple story. These soldiers are shown to be willing to risk their lives to save other soldiers. It is emotional to watch the wives of the soldiers learn that their husbands have died in war. Then, the fact that their children will be orphans and they themselves widows. It is not surprising to see tears flowing, as the film is based off a real story. The movie revolves around both the Vietnamese and American perspectives.
The United States forces were often outnumbered, outran, and even lost lives. However, they managed to hold off the opposition and capture the northern side. The Vietnamese army is rendered ineffective, despite the fact that some of its own soldiers were killed during the battle. The United States military regroups at this point and then attacks the Vietnam Headquarters, breaking it down, and taking over. The stranded troops are rescued. Lt. Col Moore, along with his team, picks up all the soldiers who have been killed, whether they are alive or dead, and places them on the helicopter before leaving the valley. After the film’s end, it becomes clear that they had fought for more than 200 days. After the film’s end, a reporter asks Lt. Col Moore how he can explain the success or victory of the war. He turns away silently. I’m not sure if he is able to explain the victory from a certain perspective.
In general, it’s a violent and graphic movie. It’s almost like two similar-minded people fighting alongside their troops. The film is definitely one of the more intense ones you will ever watch. We Were Soldiers is a little harsh for me, but it’s even more realistic if the soldiers have heated arguments. The war footage is excellent and classic. The film also makes you feel sadness, anxiety, trembles and suspense. The film may be R-rated but I believe it contains a moral lesson. It shows how in every battle, no matter how horrific, the lead is to be brave in any situation.