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The Deer Hunter (1979) Review

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.





This film is a patient movie that lets you in to understand the world that the characters are in and how their normal lives are boisterous and uncaring of the world around them taking it all for granted. Even at a wedding a general is present at the bar with little words as he comes back into life and this annoys Michael, played by Robert DeNiro as he doesn’t understand why the general is of such few words.


Michael and his friends mainly Steven (John Savage) but more importantly Nick (played by Christopher Walken) have a love of drinking and being adrenaline junkies as seen when they are all in the car and they squeeze past a lorry. Life gets serious for them as when Steven marries and as him and his wife share a drink you know the story is going to change.


The editing in this movie is actually fantastic and can seem a bit jumpy and sometimes unnecessary in the cutting sometimes but the editing really does only show what will carry the story forward. The choice of shots is perfect. Apologies for the editing portion of my review being short but I am nowhere near educated enough to talk about editing.

The arc of Michael killing deer and seeing the beauty of hunting to post Vietnam and being surrounded by death to going hunting again and not killing a deer is a beautiful way of transcribing that his character has changed.





The soundtrack of this movie has a very memorable section of strings and makes you feel really at home and every time it is played it isn’t without significance it perfectly lifts the mood of the current scenes that they are in.


I really enjoyed this movie from a story perspective and was surprised by DeNiros performance as this was the first that I have seen of his earlier work. Although I thought the film was a bit too long for my liking, I did really enjoy it.


Overall, I rate this film: 4.5/5.

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