You could boil down platoon to a single iconic image: willem dafoe, fingers and fingers held aloft as vietnamese squaddies gun him down, his fellow soldiers the sole target audience to his grim and lonesome dying on the ground. Is he making an act of supplication in his very last moments? Is he submitting to demise itself? Or is his gesture supposed to be interpreted as an acknowledgment of his helplessness, a pantomime outcry at his betrayal and abandonment? Irrespective of how oftentimes this scene plays out, its subtexts continue to be open to interpretation.
What remains the identical is our horror at dafoe’s exit from the film, and what it way in context inside the narrative. Platoon, like all vietnam war movie, is unforgivingly brutal, a image display of relentless barbarity that recreates one among america’s best self-made martial, political, and international debacles. Also like any vietnam conflict movie, or any battle film widespread, certainly, it repurposes a number of atrocities as hectic amusement, folding the cathartic launch of seeing the awful guy get what’s coming to him in the bloody info of the us’s intervention in vietnam.