Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The deer hunter - Michael Cimino

Its an interesting watch, packed with some pretty good acting. 

A bunch of steel workers in America are getting ready to leave for Vietnam, and we get a glimpse of their life. The life isn't idyllic, and thats partly what makes us so invested in it, the work, the romances, the marriage, the little fights and the not so little fights. They go deer hunting, and the main character, Michael views the exercise as one of skill, as game, the whole point being to get the deer in one shot. Once in Vietnam, they are captured, and forced to play the russian roullete. So much for the one shot. Much follows on from there, as in many ways they escape from the physical prison, but remain in many ways imprisoned. 

As a slow moving movie, I found that it still held my interest, inspite of the length and the lack of action in many places. However, for a movie which shows the turn-around of a deer hunter, I found it ironic that it couldn't help avoid rather jingoistic scenes of american 'rightness' in many places. Hey if you want to have an ideological discussion of the Vietnam war lets have one, it doesn't take much to see how ridiculous it is to defend your 'capitalism' by bombing a land you have no locus standi on. However the movie does not take any idealogical stands about capitalism etc. And given that, its a little unwarranted to show one sided depiction of north Vietnamese cruelty. I mean either you show both sides, or you leave well alone. 

However, those are somewhat minor quibbles, overall it was pretty watchable.


Anantha said...

I tried watching this when I was on Meryl Streep movie spree :)

I could not continue after few minutes into the movie. You know what was my complaint... I felt there was too much commotion in the movie at the beginning!

muddleglum said...

Hi, Tess,
The movie had little to do with Vietnam (the original story was set in Las Vegas.) It was even considered anti-American, so you are merely balancing out other opinions. :-)
In the end, any producer could adapt this film to their culture if they had something like Russian roulette symbolizing life. In that sense, America is immoral.