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4.1 Stars

Apocalypse Now is a ridiculous film.ย It is a product of so many things/ideas, A classic literary work (Heart of Darkness), an expression of America's cultural confusion and regret from the Vietnam War, and the hellish production of the film its self.ย This is why it has so much staying power in the canonย of films.ย It's a conversation piece that can be followed down so many different avenues of discussion.
Focusing on the film itself, I was most captivated by the visuals; the shots, the scene transitions, and the editing overall.ย I found myself really getting pulled into the flow of so many scenes.ย So many of the characters are sureal and unreal, they're like amalgamations of various soldier's stories about strange enigmatic peers and commandingย  officers during the vietnam war.ย The characters that receive the most focus and analysis say and do ridiculous things that contrast with the situation they are in, producing a dream like feeling.ย Most of these jarring character traits are ment to fill the audience's mind with ideas about war and human nature with an ironic hyperbolic criticism.ย Sometimes however, this silliness is intentional, as there are a handful of scenes that are ment primarily for comedic relief.
In the documentary "Hearts of Darkness" Francis Ford Coppola says, during the making of Apocalypse Now, that one of his greatest fears was making a bad and pretentious film. In my opinion, he failed in keeping the film grounded and unpretentious, but it is by no metric "bad". It definitely has its inconsistencies and unintegated themes, but its worth at least one watch. I viewed the Redux version, which is over 3 hours long, about a whole hour longer than the theatrical cut.
Apr 18th 2024
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