copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

This film takes a reeeeeeeeeealy long time setting up its atmosphere and characters, an entire first hour in fact and then some. I found many scenes to serve no other purpose but that. The atmosphere is important to the film and it is created well, but the movie may lose your attention a few times in the process. There is not much symbolism or story or tension inserted into all those extra scenes; not much for the mind to chew on.

The film is about the life of several people from a blue-collar immigrant community before during and after the Vietnam war.

It is a fairly heavy and gloomy film. Even when the characters are laughing and having fun, you feel the sobering weight of their lives. The soundtrack blasts Russian choir in the mountains. There are a lot of twilight and night scenes.

The film has one of the better performances from Christopher Walken and John Savage. The latter is a bit boring in the beginning but really stops you in your tracks later in the movie. Robert De Niro shines in the lead role as usual, but that is not a surprise. On the other hand, I think Meryl Streep is much better than given credit to. She has a very natural delivery. Robert de Niro is good but he is still acting. Meryl is like a real human being filmed with a home camera.

Deer Hunter has good actors, good acoustic soundtrack, good atmosphere and some strong story moments, but it also has too many empty scenes. It is a bit like really good jam spread too thinly over the bread.

If the makers just really wanted for the film to be 3 hours long, they could have concentrated a bit more on the life of those characters left behind in the US during the war, who instead get completely forgotten while the 3 main characters are off at war.

Nevertheless, this epic feels solid enough and is worth your time. I personally do not even mind the window dressing because the film still works. It is more of an issue from a technical point of view that could have been avoided.

The Deer Hunter