chapter  4
David Davies
Pages 20

Thomas Doherty (1999) reads the film as a post-Vietnam war movie, in the tradition of Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter, which explores the “darkness” in the American soul. This is perhaps the most straightforward kind of reading, but is difficult to reconcile with the narrative structure of the film, the role accorded to images of nature, and the overtly philosophical or religious dimension to the voiceovers that punctuate the narrative. Similar difficulties beset readings of the film as an attempt to undermine our generic expectations of the war movie in pursuit of a more “realistic” portrayal of the subject (see, for example, Flanagan 2003; McGettigan 2003).