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Saving private ryan essay

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Saving Private Ryan was directed by Steven Spielberg and was first released in September 1998, it was a joint production from Paramount and Dreamworks Pictures. The film lasts for nearly three hours and the opening battle on its own lasts for twenty four minutes. The film won five Oscars including best director in 1999. Steven Spielberg said "he was looking for realism all of the time" and "he wanted to put chaos up on the screen" in the form of the battle. The film has many famous actors including Tom Hanks as Captain Miller and Matt Damon as Private Ryan. The film starts in the present with an elderly veteran at a gravestone, it then quickly flashes into the past to the beginning of the invasion of Normandy, with American soldiers landing on Omaha Beach and struggling against dug-in German infantry and machine gun nests. One of the soldiers who survives the initial landing, Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, patches together a makeshift squad of soldiers and slowly penetrates the German defenses leading to a breakout from the beach. In the United States, General George.C.Marshall discovers that three of the four brothers of the Ryan family have all died and that their mother will receive all three notices on the same day. ...read more.


This scene establishes a connection between the elderly man in the graveyard and D-Day and also enables the date and setting to be established, as well as introducing some of the main characters of the film. Scene two "The instant chaos" In this scene as soon as the boats reach the shore and the doors open the soldiers are shot at and killed by German machine gunners. This scene is quite lengthy as soldier after soldier is killed within seconds of leaving the boats. It shows medium and close up shots of the soldiers being killed. This scene also shows over the shoulder shots of German machine gunners looking down upon the boats and US soldiers which gives a sense of power and advantage. As soldiers plunge into the sea the camera follows them giving the soldiers prospective to the audience as they struggle both below and above the surface. As the soldiers advance up the beach the use of hand held cameras suggests that we (the audience) are making our way up the beach. As all of this is going on you can hear dominating gun fire, instuctions being shouted, the sound of zipping bullets past the camera and a muffled sound track as the camera keeps going underwater. ...read more.


The audience are shocked by the sheer number of deaths and the enormity of the event. The final shot shows the name "Ryan" on the backpack of one of the fallen soldiers, this establishes a link between the sequence just seen as well as the title and the plot of the film. The opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan prepares you for the rest of them film because it shows you what is to be expected from the rest of the film and the some scenes in the opening sequence are so shocking that not much could be more worse than what has already been seen. I found the film shocking and realistic because it showed what war was really like. Steven Spielberg succeed in putting chaos up on the screen in my opinion, he didn't try to glorify war or hold anything back. I thought the film was a really good film because it told the audience what war is really like, it showed that both sides of the war are evil not like other war films where they show the US and British armies are the good side. The film also contains horrific and shocking images ( peoples insides being ripped out by bullets ) where in other films they would clear it up. As a whole Saving Private Ryan was a good film. ...read more.

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