This is a powerful film from Oliver Stone that shows a different side of the Vietnam conflict and the horrors that were wrought upon that country from all sides and the people who suffered because of it. Tommy Lee Jones has more intensity than a super powered chainsaw.
Relationships torn by war and relationships formed by war are what Oliver Sone put emphasis on when telling this truly epic story.Vietnam is heaven in colors,family life and harmonie.The war is depicted gritty and disturbing as in the 16mm black/hvite nightmareish emotinal flashes which our heroine is dreaming, thinking and seeing.This is bold but we buy it as dark colors on the bleak canvas portraying theVietnamWar.
***1/2 I'd like to give ****, but can't honestly do so; it's still too wobbly and literal-minded in the usual Oliver Stone way. But it's his triumph nevertheless- the best of his Vietnam trilogy, his Sirkian "women's picture," the personal and the political rightly blurred beyond all distinction, in which the melodrama, at its pinnacles (immeasurably aided by the cinematography of Robert Richardson), is shattering.
Young Hiep Thi Le is a revelation in the leading role and Tommy Lee Jones is excellent as a haunted man with a war trauma. Music and it's poetic presentation shows Oliver Stone at his best as the film really want to tell the audience something of big historic importance. It is a rich film filled with story, shifting time-periods and details and it would have benefited the film had it been either longer or a series.
Family splintered; village destroyed; endured rape, torture, prostitution, humilations of all kind. Married a marine who turns out to be a psycho-asshole. Moved to the US, gets culture shock. All this shown in length & detail. Not bad, you might think. No, you are mistaken. Strangely it's boring. Overly long, overblown, unfocused, main characters don't intersect. Mr. Stone wanted to cover too much & couldn't make it.