There have been a lot of war themed movies lately. Mixed reviews on all of them. Leas to the question what makes a good war movie? Is it authenticity? Is it the fantasy of victory? Is it the triumph of the few against the many? When delving into the depth of war related storytelling it is good to keep in mind some cliques and tropes which pop up a lot and tend to clog up the narrative as a whole. If you see a seen with a person getting drunk. Then you see though that persons eyes a pink elephant. Even though that’s a common trope outside of storytelling all together, it still takes you right out of the movie. “Oh a pink elephant because that person is drunk, ok yeah I get it” comes to mind instead of continuing to be invested in the story line and character arch’s. If you have a season of television where a person has substance abuse problems during most of it because you either have no idea what to do with them, or perhaps want to change them and figure “Back from the edge” is the way to justify it. Perhaps a little of both.
War movies have many cliques. Such as the early death of somebody the hero cares a lot about to give the death more weight then the death it’s self actually carries. The “Last Charge” scene where who ends up dead at the end is always unknown, but most of the time the leads “Manage” to make it through alive. Knowing what cliques can be used and hopefully masked so they aren’t so obvious and jarring, and which to rewrite because quite frankly it’s better to explore new things that fail then rehash old ones out of laziness and cowardice.
Ext – Night
After a three day battle the tide turns against them and they crouch behind barriers a few hundred feet from where the front line was being fought mere hours ago. There has been a small respite where the fighting seems to have stopped for them moment for everybody to catch their breath, but it widely assumed that the fighting will begin again shortly. Three soldiers stay ready for the coming assault
Lt: We are the closest team to the enemies armory, if we could just take that out we might still have a chance to win this battle
Sgt: I’m not sure that’s going to do it, besides as far as we know this may simply be one of many
Lt: No way they have more all the equipment they have been using came right from here, they didn’t have enough time to use another one
Sgt: I still think that’s a big gamble, but I’m in if that’s your play
The Pvt moves in a crouched position along the barrier wall towards the other two. Gun fire can be heard starting up in the distance. The Lt sits down next to the other two men obviously distracted by something in his mind terrible to think of.
Sgt: Did you find Regiment 32?
The Lt simply shakes his head not breaking his stare at oblivion
Sgt: Forward Line Command?
Sgt: Has the general given any new orders?
The Sgt grabs the Lt shoulder and shakes him to attention
Lt: Make your report soldier
Pvt: Sorry sir, there is fighting on the river bank but I didn’t find anybody else. Then I found Gershwins radio
Sgt: Where was the Lt?
Pvt: No sign but the radio it…it
Sgt: Spit it out man
Pvt: It’s over, they won, there’s no use
Lt: Say again Soldier
Pvt: They won it’s over, ‘it, it’s over
Sgt: Lt this egg has definitely cracked I say we make for that armory before they get wise and throw some more guard on it
Pvt: It’s over, they won, it’s all over
Sgt: Pvt would you kindly put a cap in it and get your rifle ready
The Lt pulls his binoculars up to his eyes as he sees the last guards hop in a jeep passing buy and speed out towards the river bank.
Lt: This is it, it’s un-guarded we go now
The Lt and Sgt stand up and the Sgt grabs the Pvt under one arm and yanks him to his feet. The pvt then sort of stumbles along with the other two paying little attention to his surroundings.
Lt: Sgt I need you to check the back and take the Pvt with you, I’ll check out the front. If it’s clear I’ll meet you inside.
The Sgt drags the Pvt towards the back field where the entrance is as the Lt heads towards the road and the front door. The Lt crouches down as he enters the road way and jogs down towards the front. As he approaches the corner he sees a few bails of straw and sitting on them is a half empty bottle of whiskey. the Lt tears off a piece of cloth from his already tattered and dirty shirt and stuffs it into the bottle. The Lt fumbles around for a moment in his pocket then retrieves his light holding it in his hand and flashing the bare brushed steel side of it before flipping it open.
The Lt grabs the large barn sized door to the where house structure, with the same hand as the Molotov cocktail and pulls his pistol out into his other. He pulls aside the door and pushes his handgun into the air in front of him stands there for a moment. He slowly lowers his gun, more due to gravity then will. He just stands there as the Pvt and Sgt come rushing from the side of the structure
Sgt: No back entrance Lt so we came to back you up here, what he hell
The both look into a now completely empty building. The Sgt stands for another second then grabs the bottle out of the Lt’s hand and tosses it in anyways. The light from the fire illuminates the pure emptiness of the building.
Lt: We really have lost. This is it
Shots are heard out in vicinity behind the camera. The three soldiers fall to their knees then collapse under the weight of their own corpses. A jeeps pulls up into frame. A soldier tosses the end of his lit cigar at the dead bodies. Then the jeep pulls forward towards the road again to leave. As the jeep pulls around slowly to straiten out again an American flag comes into view printed on the back side of the Jeep, it then speeds off out of frame.