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Customer Review

on 10 March 2003
This is, quite simply, an absolute masterpiece. In contrast to the beautiful naturalism of the Godfather trilogy, Coppola's gone all out on the symbolic, mythic and hallucinatory here. The debt to Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' is brilliantly negotiated. It's just a very very intelligent, gripping and beautifully conceived film about the senselessness and barbarity of war. All Conrad's points about the demonisation of the Other (the black for Conrad, the mad here, the primitive in both) strike home equally forcefully. The journey upriver is handled beautifully, full of amazing scenes: the all-American show at the supply depot, the surreality of the 'last bridge', the superb moment where the boat passes under the tailfin of a downed B-52...

What of the new scenes though? I watched this version first, and barely noticed...the Kilgore scenes are really watchable and I prefer the room that the whole episode has to breathe in Redux. I didn't think the new angles to Sheen's character really jarred...it's good to see the hauntedness of Willard's character come out from inside (hence the claustrophobic hotel room), rather than have him completely dark and moody from the very beginning. The scenes at the Medevac don't drag for me either and produce a number of interesting things: crew dynamics, the exploitation of the Playboy bunnies, help prepare us for the chaos of the Do Lung Bridge. On the other hand, the third major insertion (the French Plantation) is worthy but flawed (and the music is cringeworthy!!) There are some nice moments (the whole framing with fog) and one can see all the intentions (the political/colonial angle, and the counterpoint of tenderness before Kurtz's camp) but it is too long and doesn't quite work. But don't let that put you off...This is still an amazing film. See it...
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Product Details

4.4 out of 5 stars
455
4.4 out of 5 stars
£3.74+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime