I have very mixed feelings about this movie. As someone who has personal experience with the aftermath of the vietnam war and how it affected veterans, it is hard to see this perspective of Kovic that was so dramatically different than my uncle’s. I felt that the movie does a good job of portraying the disillusionment of Americans with the war, but it is somewhat slanted simply because it is based on Kovic’s autobiography – his own experience – just one person and not representative of all veterans. It is safe to say that not all veterans returned and became anti-war protesters, many, like my uncle Bob, were proud to be Marines and stood by America’s decision to go to war (regardless of the poor results and pain that it cause him). Two years ago, Bob died of brain cancer which has been attributed to his close contact with spreading Agent Orange in Vietnam. He died a proud military man.
The movie does a good job of demonstrating the jarring realities of war – civilian casualties, friendly fire, injured soldiers, VA treatment, returning home, etc. It was hard to watch at times because of the painful dealings that Kovic was put through. The style of the film was jarring as well, which I think added to the overall effect of the film. Overall, the film was pretty accurate… and while not enjoyable, a moving experience.