I will Leave No One Behind
Extended Essay of We Were Soldiers
The Vietnam War was a nightmare for many soldiers. It re-defined the meaning of war to an entire generation. As the conflict grew it became known around the world that this was a war that could not be won. After this was realized by America the main focus became to "get out" instead of "getting a victory". In the 2002 film We Were Soldiers, directed by Randall Wallace, a true account of the first major battle in Vietnam is given. At the beginning of the film he introduces to us many of the soldiers and their families. This is a very smart technique, because it ensures that the audience not only will care about each one, but also tell them apart. Wallace exemplifies two very fundamental concepts that show up throughout this film. One shows the best of worst of humanity by illustrating to us that war is a tool for the powerful and that just because someone is your enemy does not make them evil. He also portrays both Vietcong and American soldiers in a manner that is correlative. Even though they were fighting each other for different reasons and dying for different countries, both sides were human and their deaths brought grief and sadness to someone.
Early in the movie Mel Gibson, who plays Lt. Col. Hal Moore, is portrayed more as a husband and father than as a soldier. His wife Julie (played by Madeline Stowe) displays much support and respect for her husband and his job. Many other women were also introduced at the start of the film and later we learned who their husbands were. There were many small scenes during this segment of the movie that were both intriguing and gave an idealistic sense of realism to the film. One such scene is when Cecil Moore(played by Sloam Momsen), Moore's youngest daughter, asks her father "What is a War?" At that moment Moore tries for a few seconds to come up with the simplest answer, but when he realizes that it is not that simple he just tells her what...
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