Books and Movies Reviews

Themes Of Full Metal Jacket

Film Review: Full Metal Jacket -Warner Bros. 1987
Based on the novel by Gustav Hasford
The hardships of boot camp and the vigour of the battlefield, “Full Metal Jacket” follows one man through basic training and into the jungles of Vietnam to fight a war against the very people that they must also protect. The title is part of the technical description of a bullet, underlining the film's focus on dehumanisation.
“Full Metal Jacket” opens on a group of military trainees who’ve either volunteered or been drafted into serving in the United States Army. There we meet a parade of characters that range from an anti-establishment rebel, Private ‘Joker’ (Matthew Modine), and an overweight slob, Private ‘Gomer’ (Vincent D’Onofrio), to a wisecracking adrenaline junkie, Private ‘Cowboy’ (Arliss Howard). This part of the film is breakdown of personalities and shows the indoctrination in the ideology of the US Marine Corps. This shows to be a brutal and depressing experience inflicted by the sadistic drill sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (Lee Ermey), who was a real drill sergeant for the Marine Corps, drafted in by Kubrick. This gives the visual experience a real sense of fear and tension.
One recruit is not suited psychologically or physically for the rigorous Marine training and is driven crazy. Here, Stanley Kubrick is outlining and attacking the pointlessness and the dehumanisation of military discipline. Kubrick, who has a great reputation for authenticity, claimed that there was no distortion of the truth in what he showed, and that even the abominable bad language was genuine, much of it ad-libbed by Ermey himself. Two scenes were eliminated which would have made the drill instructor a monster: one where he nearly drowns Pyle in a bowl of urine, and one where he orders a recruit who has cut his wrists to clean up the mess he's made before reporting to the doctor. Instead, due in no small part to Lee Ermey's mesme


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