There have been many movies about the Vietnam War. Perhaps two of the most closely related films are, "Full Metal Jacket" and "Platoon". At first glance these two films seem to have only the theme of war in common. However, both of these films deal with much more complex points than just the Vietnam War. Both of these movies show the duality of man, the removal of racial lines, and the loss of innocence.
These are all very important issues even to this day. They are a reflection of the struggles that people faced during the Vietnam War. The three points listed above helped our country rethink it's policy about war. "Full Metal Jacket" accomplishes this by depicting some gruesome deaths and through it's main character, private "Joker." "Full Metal Jacket" suggests that America is no longer the innocent and righteous country that it claims to be. The second movie "Platoon" also shows the horrors that our American soldiers endured, as well as caused. "Platoon" accomplished it through the main character Chris, and the struggle of his soul as he fought to do what was right in the Vietnam War. This basically showed how America was both good and evil (like any man), and how it made a mistake by fighting in the Vietnam War.
Both movies have many underlying messages but probably the most intriguing is that of the duality of man. The duality of man is basically how a person can be good one moment and evil the next. "Full Metal Jacket" hints at this message by the symbols private "Joker" has on his uniform. "Joker" has born to kill written on his helmet, and a peace sign symbol on his shirt. These two conflicting symbols demonstrate how the very nature of man contradicts itself by longing for peace, while being willing to kill to survive. This logic is similar to the way the United States responded to the change in Vietnam, because they were supposed to be a peaceful nation, yet when they felt the threat of communism they immediately picked up arms to fight a war that had nothing to do with them.