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Directed by Steven Spielberg and acted by Tom Hanks, Saving Private Ryan, won the hearts of millions with its action packed storyline. Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) and his unit go on a mission to find Private James Ryan (Matt Damon), to tell him that his brothers have died at battle. The film also won three different types of awards.
The Golden Globe, The Oscar and The Grammy. Steven Spielberg has directed the opening battle sequence to be shocking and realistic, by using desaturated colours. This is effective because it shows the difference in time from the graveyard, which is present, and Omaha beach, which is the past.
Another good effect is the use of the handheld camera. The cameraman follows captain miller up the beach and then zooms in on his face. This makes it look like we’re there.
The final dramatic and realistic things are the special effects. The pyrotechnics, like the gunfire and explosions look real. The make-up looks like there really are wounds and blood. These play a big part in the whole of the film. Scene one is an effective opening scene. It opens on an American flag. This is patriotic. It makes the Americans feel proud about their country.
As it cuts from the flag, a man and his family are walking down a path, the man is James Ryan, we find this out later on in the film.
We then find out they are walking to Colleville Sur Mer, James Ryan then walks past gravestones. He then falls to his knees. There is only one word of dialogue in this scene and that is James son shouting him as he walls. The camera then zooms into his eyes then cuts to Omaha Beach. There is a sudden change of colour it goes from a contrast of white, green and blue to a foggy dark war site. This is the desaturated.
This is effective to the audience as it shows the time going from present to the past. Our first sights of scene two are the iron hedgehogs. The camera then cuts to the soldiers on a small boat, travelling to Omaha Beach. We see Captain Millers hands shaking as he gets his drink from his pocket. We witness soldiers being sick. A man shouts “Thirty Seconds”. Soldiers start completing rituals and kissing crosses. The hatch comes down and then the Germans open fire. Lots of Americans are killed instantly. Soldiers jump into the water but they are shot there, one soldier drowns as the string off his bag strangles him.
The camera bobs on the water, as if we were there. We then follow Captain Miller up the shore. We hear bullets whistle across the air. The camera then goes to the Germans viewpoint. The handheld camera comes into effect and follows Miller across the beach. The sound mutes and its as if we can hear his heartbeat. A man is looking around for his arm. This is shocking because his arm is missing and its realistic because when he finds it, it looks real. The hand held camera and the muted sound then comes back into effect. Miller is gathering with his unit behind a sand bank.
This scene makes the audience want to watch on. As the audience, I was shocked that the soldiers would go through that for their country. First of all we hear miller shouting ‘call the search party’ where they are. The handheld camera is still in use. Soldiers try to stop a man from dieing but he then gets shot in the head. This rages a soldier and he then starts verbally threatening the Germans even through they can’t hear him. The whistling bullets play a big part in this scene because they’re always being fired. Soldiers start to put together a pipe bomb.
The camera cuts to a man shot on the helmet. For some reason he takes off his helmet and gets shot in the head. This is really effective because its just minor things like that that can cause deaths. The camera then goes back to the soldiers on the sand bank. They light the pipe bomb and throw it behind the sand bank. It explodes sending debris high up into the air. This must confuse the Germans as the soldiers run for better cover. This scene effects the audience differently than scene two because there aren’t as many deaths.
This scene starts off with captain miller getting a mirror from his pocket a knife from another soldier and chewing gum from another. He sticks the mirror to the knife and looks round the corner. He points out a couple of enemy soldiers in the mirror. Soldiers begin to move in and shoot the Germans. He then calls in his best gunman, and shoots and shoots one man. Then he repeats this and takes out the other soldier. Miller confirms that the area is clear. They move on up the hill. The camera cuts to soldiers running up the beach. Soldiers then shoot at enemy soldiers trying to run.
Eventually American soldiers find a small base and raid it. Then they burn it so all soldiers run out and crawl to their death. All of a sudden soldiers start to surrender and start to run away. Then a soldier played by Vin Diesel finds a knife. He gives it to a soldier and starts to get emotional. The camera cuts to soldiers lying dead on the beach. This scene effects the audience differently than all scenes because the Americans are fighting back. At the beginning of the film, at Colleville Sur Mer I thought it was going to be a boring film but when I carried on watching it I got into it.
The opening battle scene is really shocking. I knew that it was going to be violent from what I already know. When James Ryan is walking through the gravestones he is really upset. If I was there I would have been sad because thousands of people died but I wasn’t alive then so, I wouldn’t be really upset. The opening battle scenes are shocking because stuff like this really did happen and this many people really did die. The scenes were realistic all because of the special effects. The gunfire whistling, the bombs booming and the make up looks realistic.