Internationally acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” is an unforgettable film achievement that has had profound and lasting impact throughout the world. Winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Director, the film also captured Oscars for Cinematography, Film Editing, Sound and Sound Effects Editing. Saving Private Ryan was the top-grossing motion picture of 1998. Seen through the eyes of a squad of American soldiers, the story begins with World War II’s historic D-Day invasion, then moves beyond the beach as the men embark on a dangerous special mission. Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) must take his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Faced with impossible odds, the men question their orders. Why are eight men risking their lives to save just one? Surrounded by the brutal realities of war, each man searches for his own answer – and the strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honour, decency and courage.
1998 – Certificate:15 – American Film
9.0 out of 10
The Internet is awash with every possible analysis of this film. So, let me just start by summarising its real plot. Tom Hanks gets given a job to do with his team. They have a few concerns and questions as to the point of what they’re asked to do. The end. Well, big deal. Welcome to the modern world of employment gentleman. I find myself in that situation a lot in my job, that’s just how it is. It’s true, I’m not likely to kill many people or get killed if it all goes a bit pear-shaped, but as someone who’s employed to save the planet, it can get a bit onerous at times. So here’s some advice for you Tom. “You really need to visualise the big picture and stop looking at the details. We’re all One Team and we’re all in this together, so stop giving bandwidth to our value chain and metrics that doesn’t concern you. Just be happy to be a small piece in a big jigsaw and relentlessly concentrate on fitting yourself into the right place at the right time, for the greater good. It’s other people’s challenge to sort out those sorts of mission critical, strategic goals, so you don’t need to quantify the methodology yourself. Let them drill down, do the blue-sky thinking, and deal with the structural underpinning. You’re good at what you do, so leverage your core competencies to provide locally focused, robustly broad-based solutions, as we incentivise our external stakeholders to strongly buy-in to our USP. As a matrix organisation, your knowledge and experience as one of our best product evangelists and of interacting with a wide range of partners at a delivery level, is vital. We know we can trust you to provide a flexible approach, as we move forward and in the current period harvest the low-hanging fruit. Tom, it’s just a different way of working. Allowing well-qualified colleagues to take the burden of decision-making away from you, should leave you time-enriched and in better shape to play your part, as well as provide you with a more focused environment in which to do so. You don’t need to worry Tom, we’ve got everything covered for you, but I wanted to give you the heads-up on this. However, if you have any other difficulties in living our values, let’s touch base offline and share a thought-shower; my office door is always open.” As an unambitious nobody, it works for me.
This film is the 37th best ever movie, according to IMDB. That’s pretty impressive. Whilst I admire Steven Spielberg’s work, I sometimes find it makes me feel a bit queasy, as if I’ve eaten too many yummy sweets. However, “Saving Private Ryan” is one of the good ones. The battle scene at the start is 27 minutes of real movie magic and there are plenty of other parts that come pretty close to this too. It’s essential viewing. War is truly the biggest obscenity of all.
With a full orchestral score, music is used sparingly but effectively. I think you can buy it on CD if you’re desperate enough.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Recommended for soldiers, politicians and middle managers.
Top badass moment? Take your pick, there’s plenty of choice.