“January
1968: a young recruit of United States army in the military hospital, Oliver
Stone, it is second time that he wounded in Vietnam. But he is lucky, because
North Vietnamese army launch the largest attack to American forces which
thousands of Vietnamese and American soldiers were killed during the war when
Stone was in the treatment. Stone returned to America with the wounded after
the war, the veteran started to collect and write his own war memoirs, and join
the filmmaking course at New York University with his interest.” (Gruner, 2012)    

After nearly 20 years in
the film industry, “Platoon” was released in USA on December 19, 1986 which is
the first film to promote anti-war and lash America government of Vietnam War
in American history, and director by William Oliver Stone, the honorable and
wounded veteran. The Platoon also made a history in film industry which is the
first film about war director by the Solider who had join the war. Because Stone
made the movie with his own real experience and human criticism of Vietnam War
which give a huge impact to the audience in the market, Platoon won the best
film of Oscar and several other awards, also Stone himself achieved the best
director of Oscar in the same year.       

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After
Platoon, Oliver Stone continuously produced films about anti-war themes, critical
of the government and satirize social ills etc. For example, “Born on the
Fourth of July” and “Heaven& Earth” which in a trilogy of film with Platoon
based on the Vietnam War, and “JFK”, “Nixon” and “W.” which in a series of film
based on the dark side of America politics and politicians. Stone’s films never
compromise for the commercial sake, or not real by the pressure of government
and politicians. These are the reasons why many people love and believe in
Stone’s movies.

Inspiration
and implication from Platoon

            About the historical background of Platoon, the U.S.
congress decide to be involved to the civil war of Vietnam which are between
the communist of North Vietnam and the capitalist of South Vietnam, despite
opposition from some members of congress and anti-war organizations in the
country. (Eyerman, Madigan & Ring, 2017) “From 1955 to 1975, U.S. had dispatched
over 543,000 American soldiers into the Vietnam War, a total of more than
58,000 American Soldiers died in the war, there were over 150,000 soldiers
wounded, and the terrible was the war inflicts trauma that is beyond healing in
the hearts of many veterans.” (Szczepanski, 2017) The unconvincing reasons and
the tragic cost of soldier’s death have created a black spot of American
politics in American history which Stone has expressed through the Platoon.
However, the U.S. government haven’t make any official response for the
misguided policy decision of Vietnam War until now, what an embarrassed
attitude.            

In
Oliver’s Platoon, the American soldiers were divided into two opposing bases:
one was a humane base for the humanitarian spirit of Elias, and the other was
the “evil camp” that Barnes represented. The two opposing bases just
like two groups in real American politics which one is advocating the false
heroism of violence and money, and another one is against non-humanitarian and
peace-loving. The protagonist, Taylor, a naive and unsophisticated college
student who believe in patriotism and heroism, he devoted himself to join the
war regardless the danger for his country: United States. However, in Vietnam
which thousands of miles away from United States, Taylor gradually lost his
belief that he could not understand why he needed to kill the Vietnamese
villagers who had no weapons, and he also could not believe that his sergeant
had killed his comrades in arms. But The Elias’s murder awakened Taylor’s sense
of humanity and justice, and he was no longer afraid and silence. In the end,
Taylor killed Branes to avenge for Elias, and he was glad that he and his
companions had survived from the brutal war. Taylor had new awareness from the
war that he never had before when he wounded, and get on the way to military
hospital. Taylor is actually Stone’s imaginary double in Platoon. In Stone’s
youth, he thought American was on the right side of Vietnam War, so he signed
up and joined the army for America. But he witnessed the cruelty and absurdity
during the war, began to doubt the justice of the war, and he finally made the
film with his own experience to satirize and criticize the government of America.

Oliver Stone is not only expresses his personal
anti-war ideas through Platoon, he also attacks the belligerent and
hypocritical heroism of the United States in the70s. The movie also satirizing
the American soldiers are not really the national hero in Vietnam War, they are
more like killing machines driven by American dirty politics. Stone shares his
own real military experience which he was one of soldier in Vietnam War, he
vividly depicts the inhumane ACTS and false justice of the American military during
the war and satirizes the blindness and
deception of the American foreign affairs at that time.

Conclusion

Stone played a crucial role in restoring true history
about injustice of human nature and the darkness of war through his film,
knowledge, and efforts as a director, soldier, historian, and sociologist. The Platoon is the movie that
record injustice of human right, the darkness of war and dirty politics in the
second half of 20th century’s history of America.