Courage Under Fire Essay

1956 Words 8 Pages
Courage Under Fire

In 1991, millions of people tuned in to CNN to observe a real life and death drama played out in the cities and deserts of Iraq. For the United States, the war was more or less a display of power and a preservation of economic interest. Nobody was to ever hear of the mishaps and foul-ups of the war. In many eyes the war was seen as a chance to boost American spirit and make the government look empowered. Director Edward Zwick and writer Patrick Shane Duncan snatched onto this notion and expounded on it in their movie Courage Under Fire. Through its superb acting, successful plot, structure, and filming perfection, the movie becomes a powerful and brilliant examination of the consequences of guilt and
…show more content…
All that the government wants is a media showing. For them, the president handing the Medal of Honor to the Captain's daughter, "wouldn't leave a dry eye in the place.'; Serling knows that this is all for show and commits himself to finding out the truth. I really loved this part of the movie. Zwick does such a great job of making the Government look pathetic by showing some of it's underlying intentions in this war. This is what brings us away from the normality of most war films and places this movie into its own little subcategory. The movie was meant to be different and it succeeded in that endeavor. It really was one of the strengths of this film.

Instead of conducting a cursory investigation, Lieutenant Serling finds himself unavoidably drawn into Walden's crew's conflicting stories. Each crew member seems to give a different interpretation regarding the events that took place during the rescue mission that lead to the captain's death. Serling begins to suspect a cover up and decides that he must delve deeper into this investigation. Throughout the movie, we learn of Walden's heroism from numerous flashbacks of the same incident. Crewmembers including Monfriez (Lou Diamond Phillips) and Illario (Matt Damon), each give conflicting details in their reports. The flashbacks each depict Walden differently and we, as the viewers, are supposed to figure out who the real Captain Walden is.

The film turns into a fascinating mystery mixed with the
Open Document