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Analyse the methods used to make the opening battle sequence of Saving Private Ryan both shocking and realistic and say how effective you find it as an introduction to the film

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SAVING PRIVATE RYAN Analyse the methods used to make the opening battle sequence of "Saving Private Ryan" both shocking and realistic and say how effective you find it as an introduction to the film Five times Academy Award winner, "Saving Private Ryan" shows the adventures of eight men risking their lives against impossible odds. Director, Steven Spielberg captures the true essence of war behind enemy lines through the eyes of Captain Miller, played by Tom Hanks. Not only depicting the harsh brutality of war, but also showing deaths personified. This unconventional account of the Second World War shows the cruel reality of fighting for your country that has turned this Oscar winning film into a timeless classic. A conventional war film would show the heroic saviours single-handedly winning the war; the good guys win and the bad guys always lose. Except in this film, it shows that both sides are neither good nor evil. They do not fall into those categories. Each side have a deserter or a coward and a merciless killer. It shows us what we tend to forget about war - the enemy, if that is what they truly are, are people too. ...read more.


Then we see a midshot of the battlefield with people rushing past, obscuring the view and the beach barricades block the picture. The camera then continues to show an overall view of the battle, occasionally switching to tracking and getting covered in blood or spattered with flying debris. Horrific sights meet the audience as we see soldier upon soldier fall. The camera then zooms into Captain Miller, the sea washing in crimson behind him, as though death itself is washing over him. The sky throughout this scene is dark grey and very cloudy; using pathetic fallacy as the mood is very miserable and the sky reflects this. In this scene, many sound effects are used, such as the loud crashing of the waves and bullets whizzing past. Most of the scene is understandably in forte to fit in with the mood and the sounds fluctuate throughout the scene. Most of the vocals heard are officers shouting orders or men screaming as they die. The screaming is mainly individual as the camera does a close up of the dying man's face. This reminds the audience that the soldiers shown are only young boys caught up in a war, which has nothing to do with them. ...read more.


As the camera shows the red sea washing in over the bodies, as though trying to was away the death, the viewer is suddenly struck by the fact that all of the battle has occurred on a beach. The hundreds of dead fish reinforce this and reminds us that everything is affected by war. The chaos and destruction makes the audience forget that the place is actually a beach, which creates a conflict as a beach usually symbolises a happy place. The camera shows close ups of the barricades on the beach which reflect the graves from the begging and also seemingly infinite. Finally the camera shows a close up of a man lying face down dead in the sand with the name 'Ryan' clearly printed on his back pack. This makes the audience question the title. Is it too late to save Private Ryan? In conclusion, in my opinion the opening scenes are a perfect introduction to this modern war thriller. Keeping the audience wondering throughout the film, until all is revealed at the end. The introduction shows the main principles that Steven Spielberg has worked to his advantage and giving a small glimpse of the many battles and deaths that lie ahead of the courageous team in search of Private Ryan. Victoria H Jones 10KH ...read more.

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