"The Deer Hunter" Film Review
By Cherie' Langenbacher


The film, "The Deer Hunter" by Micheal Cimino, depicted the lives of three men living at the time of the Vietnam War. They had done their hobbies up to the day they deployed. Before Michael (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken), and Steven (John Savage) went off to Vietnam. Micheal, Nick, and Steven, and their friends all went to work, went out for drinks, a wedding, and a hunting trip. This shows that Cimino was portraying that the soldiers had to leave their lives, in order to go fight for Uncle Sam.

The plot of the film is three men are ripped from their lives to fight in the Vietnam war. During the war they are taken as POW's, tortured, and escape. Sadly, losing a friend in the process. Cimino had directed the film this way, because other directors came up with different film plots and story's that did not care to explain what people were really going through at the time.

The first act of the film starts like most other films, people are working, hanging out with friends, going to the bar, and getting married. The audience does not have a clue that Micheal, Steven, and Nick are soon headed off to war until the middle of the second act.

The second act starts when Micheal, Nick, and Steven are deployed for Vietnam. In the film, there is very detailed and graphic scenes that show how hard it is for them to survive. One of the scenes is whenever they are taken as Prisoners' of War. This has a big toll on American's because the war is fresh on their mind. In numerous cases, families had a hard time watching this because the loss of their love ones were so new. Cimino had a big decision on his hands, because the movie instead of being a success could have been a flop. Many directors at this time had the same problem; because there were hundreds of people that had gone through years of war and was tired of everything dealing with war.

"The Deer Hunter" is set during the time of the Vietnam War, but is arguably relates to most wars throughout history. The reason being that one day that many civilians are hanging out with friends and the next day they are being deployed and see horror's that civilians' never see. There are thousands of civilians' that are back home worried that they will never see their solider(s) again. They wish all they want, but for thousands of families that wish never come true. If the soldiers do come home, many have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which makes them relive the horrors of the war. Many times, over and over. These soldiers are forced to stay away from certain items or activities because they may relive the horrors again. The horror of losing friends, possibly watching them die, the general battles, etc. That is how it could be any war that Cimino is referring to on screen, the only difference is every time there is a different enemy.

In the film, Micheal has referred to "A deer got to be taken with one shot. I try to tell people that, but they do not listen." Micheal may be relate this to you only have one shot at life, live it to the fullest. Once you make a decision, you can never go back. Micheal, Steven, and Nick are all going into the war together. They hope to come home at the end of it alive; but due to the uncertainty of war. They have no idea what they are facing. The one thing that probably runs through a soldier's mind when in battle is two things. How do I get out of here alive? And, what could I have done better?

The Deer Hunter, a lengthy and informational film, has a lot to teach about live, family, and war. The film details are shown to get the full effect of the war. The film, other than being similar to other wars, really shows us what the culture was like at the time. It also displays how people viewed the war, that people that have very little knowledge about the time period, are able to see and understand it. The film also gives people hope that their love ones will hopefully return home.

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