“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America…”
For plenty of millennials (including yours truly), elementary and middle school often began with us standing up, hand-over-heart, reciting those very words. For me, that pledge was always taken very seriously. Those who know me would consider me uber-patriotic–and they’d be right.
Thanks to MoviesMatrix, I’m able to combine my love of film and my ‘uber-patriotism’ for one seriously ‘Murica-tastic look at what gives us the feels when we watch movies about our armed forces. Let’s get into it…
The Spoils of War
Going back practically as far as the inception of movies, filmmakers have been telling extraordinary stories of ordinary men and women. These stories are often difficult to tell, and even more difficult to watch.
They’re about some of the worst things humans can experience: loss, guilt, pain, suffering. However, these are also stories of triumph, overcoming, brotherhood, and family.
That’s why we get the feels.
When we watch movies like Saving Private Ryan, we run through practically every emotion that exists. We’re brought into the lives of the soldiers on screen. We feel like we’re literally in the trenches with them. We mourn every loss and celebrate every victory.
Brothers in Arms
One truly beautiful aspect of an otherwise brutal war film is that of brotherhood.
Any time war is depicted on screen the audience is basically guaranteed a pretty grizzly story. You can almost set your watch to the timing of an explosive climax and the untimely death of a main character (or two to three).
We are guaranteed to see a group of people fighting a foe that is all too familiar, and in that battle, we witness the undeniable bond between soldiers in the trenches of battle. We come to understand, just a little bit, what it must be like to be in their shoes. Even if we can’t truly comprehend what the life of a soldier is like, thanks to film we can at least begin to empathize their sacrifice a little better.
Liberty and Justice for All
Whether the motives behind creating a ‘war movie’ are political in nature, no matter the time the picture is set, these movies always gain a reaction from audiences around the world.
Take a look back at some of the top releases of the last decade, and you’ll see stories of heroes and heroines, true stories or fiction. Each depicts the amazing human potential unfolding right in front of your eyes. Every film in this category portrays themes that act as the DNA of the story.
Perseverance. Bravery. Sacrifice.
Whenever I sit down to watch these stories, I have to mentally prepare myself. I know that by the time it ends, I will be completely and totally in the cine-feels.