possession of the soul

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Oliver Stones's Platoon is a gripping and honest movie about the war in Vietnam. Oliver Stone, a Vietnam Veteran himself, shows us the evil of war. Is the world righteous? Is it kind? no it isn't, how could it be when war has such a big impact on the world, not only 40 years ago, but 100 years ago and still to this day, people fight eachother over nothing more than property or politics. War is evil, but that is not what Oliver Stone wants to tell us, we all know how bad war is no need to rub it in out face, that won't do much gain. No what Oliver Stone wants to show us is the impact war has on these yound men dragged into something they cannot control and how these soldiers not only have to fight a common enemy but also fight among themselves. Sgt. Barnes and Sgt. Elias are not described as simply the bad sgt. and the good sgt., no it's not as simple as that. They are the symbolic meaning of how war impact the individual soldier. Turning honest men into animals going against their own kind, doing terrible things they woulnd't ever dream of doing under normal circumstances. The war has turned Barnes into a psychotic killer and the most dangerous man is the man who's got nothing to loose, he doesn't even fear death. Barnes is the weak minded, he's been affected by the war so much, he's become hard and cold. Who knows what kind of man Barnes was before the war, maybe he was a schoolteacher, who knows. Elias symbolizes the strong minded man, who seen as much war as Barnes but still manages to maintain his sanity or parts of it anyway, keeping his head cool and stills knows right from wrong. Chris is the man in the middle, who almost looses himself but fights to keep his sanity. I think it's excatly what Chris says at the end, that they are not fighting the enemy, they are fighting themselves, fighting over the possession of the soul.

"I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. The enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days. As I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called "possession of my soul." There are times since, I've felt like a child, born of those two fathers. But be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again. To teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life."

In my opinion "Platoon" is one of the most honest movies ever made about the Vietnam war, it's torture to see what these men goes through. Several scenes are hard to watch including the village scene and the battle at the end, which is basically one big mess of confusion and slaughter.