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Born On The 4th Of July (1989) - (Movies To See Before You Die - War Movies / Biographies)

16 May, 2013 | Movies To See Before You Die / War Movies

In 1986, director Oliver Stone gave a cinematic masterpiece called PLATOON talking about the Vietnam War in the most cruel, sad and realistic manner. The film won 4 major OSCARs in 1987 but the visionary director was still left with something more to add on the subject of War which made him deliver his second gem on the same theme titled BORN ON THE 4TH OF JULY in the year 1989. And this time the focus was more on the after-effects of the war experienced by all the ‘returning soldiers’ back at their homeland, which is full of hatred, conflict, opposition, remorse and betrayal by their own fellow citizens unexpectedly. Reportedly in Oliver’s own words, after PLATOON, this is about the other war waiting for the soldiers when they return back from the front.
Based on the real life experiences of Ron Kovic, it’s a biographical account of his days fighting as a soldier and the days when he returned back home as a Vietnam veteran, having a half paralyzed body below the waist. It begins with Ron’s young days wherein he decides to serve his nation as a soldier and then is made to witness the horrifying truth of a war where innocent people are killed without any reason and soldiers follow the orders of attack like lifeless robots. And on top of all, the main planners of the war, that is the politicians remain miles away from the battlefield, safe in their cozy homes or offices planning the further attacks, simply signing on the official papers. 
The film makes you feel the pain along with Ron, when he realizes that his platoon has mistakenly killed several poor & innocent Vietnamese peasant families living in a small village including their kids, women and old people. Further, the young enthusiast simply breaks down morally, when he accidently kills his own fellow soldier in the confusion of a fading sunlight and bullets being fired from all directions. As if the guilt of taking the life of his own friend was not enough, Ron gets severely wounded himself and ends up half paralyzed in a badly managed hospital to be informed that he will not be able to walk or have kids ever in the future.
Fighting with his challenging state, Ron Kovic returns home to his loving family and finds a whole different world waiting for him, where people are opposing the war, have no respect for their war veterans and are not willing to offer a helping hand to the injured soldiers who are now forced to live a dependent life forever. The indifferent behavior of everyone around disturbs Ron deeply and he feels betrayed by his own people and the nation. The unexpected revelation brings in a big change in his personality and he starts working against this whole political system of war as an anti-war and human rights activist living for a purpose. 
So its all about this transforming & enlightening journey of Ron Kovic, who went on to become a key activist exposing the actual reality behind the war and its futility. Therefore it is widely rated as one of most impressive and important war films made till date with a specific message for the world. And I personally rate it as one step ahead of Oliver’s earlier masterpiece PLATOON too, for this very reason alone. It has Tom Cruise playing the lead, in complete contrast of his onscreen image of those times and the actor has undoubtedly gone deep into the skin of his suffering character superbly. Along with Tom & his impressive co-stars, the other big support to the film comes from its cinematographer, composer, writer and editor who rightly got the well appreciated 8 nominations in all the reputed categories of the OSCARS in 1990 but could win only two, namely the Best Director and Best Editing award quite deservingly.
In short BORN ON THE 4TH OF JULY talks about War in a distinctive manner which indeed forms the hidden & ugly part of the energetic picture painted in front of the people by the authorities, concerning the War veterans. It’s a solid, impactful and thoughtfully directed masterpiece by Oliver Stone, which has many emotionally haunting scenes which would even force you to take your eyes off the screen in disgust.
Hence do watch it for sure to experience what it actually feels to be sitting on a wheel chair after fighting a war for your nation and then get spitted by the same nation’s people right at your face with hatred.
Directed by Oliver Stone
Starring : Tom Cruise, Raymond J Barry, Caroline Kava and more.

Tags : Born On The 4th Of July (1989), Movies To See Before You Die, War Movies, Biographies in Films, Must See Films List by Bobby Sing, Best War Movies in World Cinema, Oliver Stone War Movies, Tom Cruise as a War Veteran, Not To Be Missed Films List by Bobby Sing, Worth Watching Films List, Worth Watching War Films List by bobby sing at www.bobbytalkscinema,com
16 May 2013 / Comment ( 0 )
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