The Major Motion Picture “Pearl Harbor”Pearl HarborThe major motion picture, Pearl Harbor, reflects upon a war that occurred a few decades ago rather than the documentary filmed very shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Both movies depict the attack as one that will live on in infamy, but the documentary takes a spiteful vengeance towards Japan because it was filmed during a time of hatred towards the Japanese, our enemy. While the newer movie has given us time to reflect upon the war and realize that we both underestimated the enemy and knew very little about the other.
While one movie was in black and white and the other was in color with millions spent on the fighting scenes, they both depict the same war. I felt that there was too much of the love story in the newer film than actual historical figures and importance. Real historical figures Col. James H.
Doolittle Alec Baldwin and Doris “Dorie” Miller Cuba Gooding, Jr. in minor roles that should have been given more screen time are sprinkled throughout the film, adding a touch of authenticity to the daring-do of the main fictional characters portrayed by Affleck and Hartnett. The film that was in black and white attempted to destroy the Japanese reputation by showing all the faults of the Japanese people and making their leaders out to be complete tyrants and the bombers to be lunatics who would die for these tyrants. Historically, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor represented one of the key actions of World War II, because it sucked the United States into the war. The attack, devised by Admiral Yamamoto, commander of the Japanese fleet, brought the brunt of the Japanese military power to bear on Hawaii.
In a two-hour period, 18 ships were sunk or badly damaged including the Arizona, which split in two then went under; the West Virginia; and the 188 planes were destroyed, and more than 3500 Americans were killed or wounded. Fortunately for the American Pacific fleet, the three aircraft carriers based at Pearl Harbor were out to sea at the time of the attack. On the day after, President Roosevelt stood before Congress, and, after declaring December 7, 1941 to be a “date that will live in infamy”, he urged that a declaration of war be issued. Meanwhile, half a world away, the Japanese celebrated their victory, but Yamamoto wondered out loud whether the attack had been the best thing, saying, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve. ” Indeed the Pearl Harbor air raid united the American people in a way that no other event in the 20th century did. Pearl Harbor depicts all of this and more – the third act is an account of Dolittle’s April 1942 bombing raid on Tokyo, launched from the Hornet, but does so in a slapdash fashion.
It is possible to argue that Pearl Harbor’s agenda is too ambitious for a single motion picture: tell a love story, represent the historical situation, and offer a concluding catharsis that does not come naturally to the tale of what transpired at Pearl Harbor. The movie does many things, but only succeeds in doing a few of them well. As a history lesson, Pearl Harbor can best be described as incomplete and perfunctory. This would easily be forgivable if the picture had more to offer in other areas; unfortunately, it doesn’t. So the film’s flawed historical context becomes its key selling point.
The story is presented from the point-of-view of three central characters: bomber pilots Rafe McCawley (Ben Affleck) and Danny Walker (Josh Hartnett), and nurse Evelyn Johnson (Kate Beckinsale), the woman who loves, and is loved by, these two best friends. Rafe and Danny are closer than brothers until Evelyn comes between them. But, before the romantic triangle can be sorted out, Pearl Harbor is attacked, and all three are called to perform acts of outrageous heroism .