Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 (released in the US June 26 1987) war film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was based on Hasford's 1979 novel The Short-Timers. The story follows a platoon of U.S. Marines through their training and the experiences of two of the platoon's Marines in the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War. Also the film’s title refers to the full metal jacket bullet used by infantry riflemen. The film gained positive reviews from critics and gained over $46 million in the box office. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes retrospectively collected reviews to give the film a fresh positive score of 94/100%.
This film is significant to the Vietnam War as it strongly conveys general reactions about the war. For example the Vietnam War has been featured extensively in television, film, video games, and literature. In American popular culture, the "Crazy Vietnam Veteran", driven mad or otherwise disturbed by his experiences in Vietnam, became a common stock character after the war.
Full Metal Jacket plays upon this stereotype as, a large proportion of the film focuses on the damaging mental effects the war had on US troops, which in turn stresses the moral consequences of the war.
The film portrays the negative metal effects the war had on its troops in several ways. An example would be the film stressing the military brainwashing themes in the boot camp training. It does this with usage of the character Leonard Lawrence or his nickname "Gomer Pyle". He is an overweight, clumsy, slow-witted recruit who becomes the focus of Hartman's (the sergeant) attention for his incompetence and excess weight implementing a collective punishment policy to motivate him. As a result Pyle is beaten by his fellow recruits and then begins to show increasing signs of obsession and mental breakdown, such as talking to his rifle, which eventually causes him to kill Hartman and commit suicide.
Another example of Full Metal Jacket portraying the negative mental effect the war had upon soldiers is the significant focus of the thousand yard stare throughout the movie. In the middle of the film Joker is mocked for his lack of the thousand-yard stare, indicating his lack of field war experience. While at the end of the film Joker finally manages to kill a Vietnamese sniper a (teenage girl who had taken out nearly half of the squad single handily) which results in him displaying the ‘thousand yard stare’. This scene also manages to portray the Vietnamese as strong opponents which in turn also promotes the bravery the US soldiers had to experience.
Colletive Punishment method: