OK, this comes up a lot. and i just want to ask.
people complain about marlon brando in this movie. i don’t get it.
it seems to me to be a perfecty succinct, and probably inevitable ending to the journey. what else should have happened?
people say the entire mood changed when he showed up. i didn’t get that at all. it’s a harrowing movie through the journey there, and a harrowing movie while they’re there. i really really don’t understand. the whole film was perfect, for me. and i loved brando’s performance
Well, the entire mood of the movie should change once Willard finishes his journey up river and enters Kurtz’s kingdom. He’s no longer in Vietnam, and he’s no longer in a civilization any of us have ever seen before. He’s in a new world, in which the New Man (Kurtz… eventually Willard himself) is worshiped as the one, true and almighty God.
I love Brando’s performance, and I love the character of Kurtz altogether. This isn’t merely a soldier who saw something about the world that he didn’t like, this a man who has transcended that which he once was. Kurtz is a man evolved, no longer connected to what we consider humanity, if the evolutionary track took a hard turn into blood-soaked violence.
And the ending itself is brilliant as well, with Kurtz excepting his own physical death, knowing that while he may die, his journey will continue through the body of Willard, who will then reach the next level once he becomes God, that of rejecting violence.
Yeah, the film is perfect, even the Redux version. There is nothing wrong with Brando, every moment he’s on screen is captivating and tense.
How do people feel about AFTER Kurtz dies, do you think it ends too abruptly?
I think it ends perfectly after he dies. And I don’t care what anyone says…I think that explosion in the beggining was Kurtz civilization being blown up. It just makes me like the movie better.
Killing that beast may have been excessive.
…and I’m not referring to Brando…
The ending of the film is just perfect the way it is.
-How do people feel about AFTER Kurtz dies, do you think it ends too abruptly?-
No, absolutely not. Hidden Behind the Screen is correct, something people frequently overlook because the way Coppola stages it is so hallucinogenic—the film literally opens with the ending—the napalming of Kurtz’s compound:
Coppola’s makes the obvious too by putting the Doors’ “The End” over the opening of the film too.
His mind is clear but his soul is mad. Once the crew crosses that last bridge it goes into the surreal. And at the center is Kurtz, Brando’s character. that whole ending sequence is just great filmaking as far as I’m concerned.
Anyone else prefer the 1979 version to the redux? The french scene just seemed completely unessecary, and kind of threw everything off actually.
Atleast for me…
Agree with Hidden.
Same reason, but also, there was nothing essential in the additional material.
-Anyone else prefer the 1979 version to the redux?-
I quite like the conclusion to the movie, and I just recently showed some students the Kurtz monologue in and out of the shadows as an example of how we could creatively edit single lines of performance into a continuous speech. Great, wild end result, in my opinion, with an appropriately more unhinged edge to its tone than the audience has been prepared for by anything that’s come before.
The end is the apocolypse of 2012 and it is now!
“Anyone else prefer the 1979 version to the redux?”
Me too. The French scene completely took me out of the film; an unnecessary sidenote.
The original version is far better. The pacing is perfect. The french scene has its own merits (the discussion about Vietnam’s past as Indochine, the french colony is relevant), but it appears a bit out of context and unnecessarily slows down the film. By the way, the ending is excellent. The whole bizarrely fascinating journey that Willard goes through finds a perfect demise in Kurtz’s sacrificial death.
I disagree. While the French scene does slow down the action, the lull is a significant one; I think the interaction between Willard and Roxanne in the sequence where they smoke opium and she talks about her dead husband is nuanced and perfectly developed. I prefer Redux.
The French scene is great—there’s some really great dialogue in there, intelligent commentary about America’s role in empire building and how the French get the soggy end of the baguette. The only detail I would change is the slaughtering of the bovine at the end—it only detracted from an otherwise brilliant film and was totally unnecessary (I don’t call “unnecessary” often in films, but this was).
I agree, Mark.
-was totally unnecessary-
So was the Vietnam war and the bombing of Cambodia. But people get upset about the water buffalo. At least the Ifugao could eat the water buffalo.
The plantation scene is just too didactic for me.
There is more nudity in the Redux, and that hilarious scene where Willard steals Kilgore’s surfboard.
The french sequence looks like “Emmanuell goes to Saigon”
The redux is, as garreth said, much more nudity upped, I believe there is very little sex in the original. Regarding the ending, I loved it, thought it was the perfect way to end this perfect film. When I skip through and watch three or four scenes, beginning, middle and end I realise how much this film goes through and how much effort it must have been tom make this. My favourite act of the film was the very long second act on the river, although the first (Kilgore) and third (Kurtz’s compound) are stunning too.
It was a fitting end to an apocalyptic but somewhat empty journey. The monologue takes the mask off the film – which has no message except that this is film is the war itself. When the lights turn off, you realise it was a brilliantly put together film in terms of technique but it stands on weak legs. That said, it’s one of my favorites.
stands on weak legs? I don’t think so.