Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Deer Hunter (1978)

IMDb plot summary: An in-depth examination of the ways in which the Vietnam War disrupts and impacts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.
Directed by Michael Cimino. Starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage, and Meryl Streep.

(Vague-ish spoilers regarding the movie's most famous scene.)

If I'm going to watch a war movie, I'm always more interested in one that really delves into the psychology of the characters and how they are affected by the war, so parts of this I found fascinating. The famous climactic Russian roulette scene is captivating in its darkness, and several individual scenes throughout suddenly give a glimpse into what's going on in the returning soldiers' minds. The score is also pretty incredible -- the beautiful sadness of the melody is truly haunting. However, these great moments are few and far between for me, surrounded by hours of slow nothing. It was a LOT of build-up for not quite enough payoff. I admire it, and I definitely get why people love it, but I had a tough time sitting through the in-between bits to get to the rest of it.

2.5 stars.

Flickchart: #1135 out of 2124, below The Fall and above The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer.

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