The Deer Hunter isn’t specifically about a man hat is hunting deer, but about a man and his friends that enjoyed hunting until they enlisted in the military to take part in the Vietnam War. With Robert DeNiro in the lead role and Christopher Walken as his best friend, the filmmakers show us the mental state of what it’s like to be a Prisoner of War. The set up of the friendship between DeNiro and Walken is well developed, and when the action gets picking up and the thoughts of death set in to these characters one gets the feeling that something else has to happen and the characters can’t die, yet. I, as a filmmaker and an avid film enthusiast found this movie to be a wonderful depiction of the trials of friendship, and the mental stresses of war.
The friendship between DeNiro and Walken is one of those kinds of friendships, in which they were both friends since they were children. Both characters live in the same small town, they went to the same schools and pretty much did everything together all their lives. In the scenes where DeNiro and Walken, along with the other cast of friends, are deer hunting, the feeling of the movie takes a turn to the point where the audience gets the feeling that something bad is bound to happen, a kind of foreshadowing for the rest of the movie. It was in one of the deer hunting scenes in which the friends decided that they were going to enlist and do their part in the war.
During the part in the movie in which they were in the war, the power of friendship really shows through, by the way DeNiro and Walken react to each other in the heat of battle, and in the parts in which they are P.O.W.’s, and are finally rescued. In the scene where they are rescued, the P.O.W.’s all pile into a helicopter, as the chopper is flying over a river one of the other friends is thrown from the helicopter and he land in the water. Upon his impact in the water he hits the bottom of the river and breaks both of his legs and has to crawl his way to the bank. The chopper lands and the guys pile out to see their friend who is now already dieing from his injuries, the friends say their good byes and have to quickly leave.
The point in the movie were things get really bad in for DeNiro and Walken is shortly after the rescue, the Vietnam underworld grabs a hold of Walken and he goes AWOL. DeNiro’s character is returned home, where he has no other choice but to move on with his life and try to forget his best friend. In the time where DeNiro moves on with his life, he gets married and starts his life again. In the same time that DeNiro is starting his life after the war, Walken is in the dark underworld of Vietnam, suffering form identity loss, Walken begins to regularly participate in games of Russian Rolette. In the end DeNiro, finally decides to search for his lost friend in the underworld and upon finding Walken, he no loner has any reasoning left. The end of the film was absolutely amazing, because in order for DeNiro to prove to his friend that he is a really there to take him home, DeNiro sits down at the Russian Rolette table plays a game. The gun passes from man to man, and DeNiro’s 3rd attempt nothing fires, DeNiro looks into Walkens eyes and the look of realization sets in, the next pull of the trigger will be he last for Walken. After Walken pulled the trigger the crowed around them get’s angry because their greatest player is now dead, and the camer slowly pulls out to a slow fade to black.
Dang, I really like this movie.