Perhaps it isn't a perfect film but it is a movie with great impact. The movies really didn't bring anything new, historically, to us about Iwo jima. With Flags of Our Fathers Eastwood tried for very ambitious ground in covering what it's like for Americans to fight a war worth fighting for but with life's value undermined in the scope of preserving the 'grander' scheme of things like the flag on the mountain. They search the area and find Saigo with his shovel. This movie shows better than any other film that there's really no good guys or bad guys when it comes to war. Letters from Iwo Jima is remarkable as the movie that tries to escape from the stereotypes. We are treated with flashbacks that further detail how some of the characters arrived on the island and what they were like before, and we see perfectly just how deteriorated they are after being sent to war.
These aspects come out in full force in Iris Yamashita's brilliant screenplay. Soon, American aircraft and warships begin to appear and bombard the island, causing significant casualties. All the while the acting is always competent, sometimes even ranging into the brilliant, and with Ken Watanabe delivering some of the finest notes of emotion and also holding back emotion or hiding a real emotion that I've seen from him thus far. I'll admit, though, the film suffered from some flaws, one major one being a total lack of deep and interesting characters, which in turn kept us the audience distanced from the events unfolding in the film. It is about what is right or wrong for the individual human being. The film is dedicated to the United States Marine Corps whose exploits and valor have left a lasting impression on the world and in the hearts of their countrymen. Ken Watanabe led a pretty much unknown cast at least to me giving great conventional yet original portrayals to their roles.
It was also named Best Film in a Foreign Language on January 15 during the , while Clint Eastwood held a nomination for Best Director. This movie is a sign of hope from the movie industry that has seemed to become more and more commercial. After a little extra planning and some adjustments to our schedule, we bought advance tickets and came back the next day. The most poignant scene by far involves this when Nishi cares for and speaks with a dying Marine. I understand a limited amount of Japanese so I could follow most of the story. He is a man haunted by his past but it doesn't affect his duty to his men. This is one of, if not the best, movie ever directed by Clint Eastwood.
The imperial Japanese government of that time used this when they sent fighters to Iwo jima. . Letters from Iwo Jima is a different war film that separates itself from any other war films that is a guaranteed terrific rating. Even though the Japanese had Iwo Jima, and had the capabilities to defend it for a little while, without reinforcements it would be all for not this is compounded with some of the most tragic irony when towards the end the General Kuribayashi listens to a radio broadcast of children singing a song meant for hope of success in a battle that those on the mainland have already abandoned. Upon leaving, the soldiers hear a gunshot from Nishi's cave. While some characters such as Saigo are fictional, the overall battle as well as several of the commanders are based upon actual people and events.
Many people are wondering whether this will be able to compete for Best Picture at the Oscars this year. Clint Eastwood does such a masterful job here. The acting is truly phenomenal. Saigo plans surrender, and Shimizu reveals that he was dishonorably discharged from the Kempeitai because he disobeyed an order to kill a civilian's dog. I'm not entirely sure why this is. This movie should be nominated as best picture at the Acadmy Awards.
I know I'am repeating myself but that is because this movie reminds me of such great war movies such as The Deer Hunter, Platoon, Born On the Fourth of July, Apocalypse Now and The Killing Fields. The film truly is a fascinating character study, with emphasis on General Kuribayashi, Saigo the baker, and others. After Flags of Our Fathers underperformed at the box office, swapped the United States distribution rights to Warner Bros. Nishi converses in English with a captured Marine, Sam, until Sam eventually dies from his wounds. One of the best films of the year. Saigo, a lowly peasant, is a part of the fight, and for chunks of the film we see the battle from where he stands, even as he doesn't look on it too optimistically.
This film has terrific acting, beautifully disturbing scenery, excellent sound, and just a heart wrenching story that I guarantee if you enjoy history, you will be very proud of this film. I shared no emotional or sympathetic bond with any character, I did not need for any of them to survive, I did not suffer when any fell. When the film ended, my wife talked with the couple and learned that the old man's father died in Iwo jima. These two movies are, in my opinion, his best. The battleship , which was used in closeup shots of the fleet for both movies also participated in the actual attack on Iwo Jima for five days.
It demonstrated the oneness of humanity in our most barbaric and tribal setting. But taken back into context there's a greater sense of loss on the enemy side, not just of life but of what it means to fight for a cause that is never totally explained, to an Emperor practically all of these soldiers wont see or meet, and that to kill oneself is a brave act against the odds. Usually we see American made films and they follow a certain pattern, while foreign films seem to us being from 'left field. Most of his men are killed, and Kuribayashi is critically wounded, but Kuribayashi's loyal aide Fujita drags him away. With Letters from Iwo Jima, Eastwood studies the exact opposite of the spectrum; glory. We may be from different cultures, eat different food, speak different languages, prey to God differently, but we all have things in common.