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Apocalypse Now Review

Uploaded by Canadian Bacon on Jun 11, 2001

Vietnam was a war fought by the unwillingly, for the ungrateful, led by the unqualified. Apocalypse Now is Coppola’s film based on Heart of Darkness, but set in the Vietnam jungle. The major theme in the novel is the examination of America’s involvement, militarily, in Vietnam. However, like Conrad’s novel, it also shows the potential inherent darkness in all human hearts. Coppola retains the basic structure of Conrad’s novel for his film. As Marlow, in Heart of Darkness, travels up the Congo eventually to find Kurtz, similarly, Captain Willard the protagonist in Coppola’s film travels up the Nung River to meet his Kurtz. Both the Company and the Army want their Kurtzes dead. Kurtz exposes his superior’s real motives and methods and the Army does not want the truth to be known. Willard becomes more perceptive to the moral darkness around him: this causes him to question his real purpose, or goal in what he is doing. Eventually, after killing Kurtz, Willard realizes the Darkness that can be brought out in any man, examined through Kurtz, if society allows amoral values to thrive.

The message in Apocalypse Now is the same message in Heart of Darkness, which is that any man can succumb to his savage desires, he just needs the right environment to allow his temptations to be nurtured and bloom. Apocalypse Now was based on events that had deep meaning and significance for its director. Coppola had just witnessed his generation and the still younger generation fight this bloody conflict nobody wanted to be apart of. He must have seen the wounded and maimed war vets their physical scars obvious, who came to represent the lost generation. Politics at the time forced the Vietnam War upon the American people: men like Kennedy, LBJ, and Nixon were all guilty of this unimaginable crime. The Cold War was in full force and the American government felt it needed to stem the tide of spreading Communism in South East Asia. So, troops were sent to the Democratic Republic of South Vietnam to fight off their northern, Communist enemy. The war was lost before it even started. American politicians were concerned with body counts, kill ratios, and land occupation. Vietnam was about none of these aspects. The Americans dropped napalm, and Agent Orange, they sent B-52 bombers with ten thousand-pound bombs and dropped these on the dense jungles. They deforested entire regions of...

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Uploaded by:   Canadian Bacon

Date:   06/11/2001

Category:   Film

Length:   6 pages (1,447 words)

Views:   2663

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