There often comes a time at the box-office when a new brilliant movie is lacking. Take this weekend of September 12th for example, with the really only new, mediocre film being M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit. So how should you spend your precious movie-watching time? How about streaming a classic on Netflix?
Apocalypse Now is a powerful film from 1979 about the Vietnam War adapted from the novel Heart of Darkness. It follows Captain Willard, played by Martin Sheen, as he transverses the Vietnamese Wilderness in search of AWOL Colonel Kurtz. Willard encounters many friends along the way, as well as many troublesome situations. Director Francis Ford Coppola captures the horror the soldiers in the Vietnam War faced on the battlefield. I won’t spoil the gripping story, but there are moments within the film that show how the environment these soldiers had to live in, really pushed them over the edge. Some of these soldiers truly lost their minds, and lead them to act irrationally.
Some of these scenes left me despondent, wondering why these soldiers acted so horrifically, but these scenes showcase Coppola’s ability to engage the audience. Also, Coppola’s perspective presented a sense of immorality and pointlessness to the Vietnam War. These scenes illustrate the meaning behind the title of Apocalypse Now, as it truly was the apocalypse to these soldiers stationed in Vietnam.
I could write for pages about how Coppola’s artistic cinematography enhances the film, or how the score adds an eerie tone, but in the end, it is the stellar cast that really makes this film. Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and Harrison Ford all play an essential role to this film. Their unique acting abilities in the film help create an emotional and powerful ride that blindsided me when I clicked the small play icon on Netflix. Even though this film is about war, it is certainly far from just an action-flick, and reaches an emotional level that all viewers can relate to.
Grab your laptop and turn off your light because it is time to watch one of the most powerful movies about the effects of war.