Analytical Film Paper

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Saving Private Ryan, directed by Steven Spielberg in 1998, is widely known for its accuracy and realism in portraying World War 2, particularly the invasion of Normandy. Steven Spielberg uses a wide variety of camera angles, sound, and special effects to allow viewers to feel as if they were storming the beaches right alongside 2nd Ranger Battalion. All of this is intertwined to show the sacrifices that eight men, under the command of Captain Miller, played by Tom Hanks, had to make in order to save the life of James Ryan. The central theme in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan is to earn the opportunities given to us and the sacrifices made on our behalf.

The camera angles and shots used in Saving Private Ryan specifically try and show viewers the hardships that nine men looking for Ryan have to go through. There are some long shots that stress environment such as the one opening the film showing the beach. Mostly though there are more close ranged shots that are stressing the situation and the conditions that the soldiers are under. There is one scene near the end of the movie where the men are standing in a line and the camera scans over each of their faces, and viewers can tell that they have been through so much pain and trials to be here and save this guy they don’t even know. Through their sacrifices they made it possible for Ryan to go home and be with his mom.

Along with the certain angles and shots, Spielberg really wanted the sound to appeal to viewers and add to the effect of war. In the beginning of the movie, when the soldiers are storming the beaches, the sound of bullets and explosions can be heard, and sounding that out is the screams of anguish by fallen soldiers. The sounds of dying soldiers just adds to the point that Spielberg is trying to make, that a group of grown men, with families, risked their lives, and in some cases died, to give Private Ryan the opportunity to leave the war and see his mom.

Every decision that Spielberg...
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