Critical Analysis on Pearl Harbor
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Critical Analysis on Pearl Harbor
Before the attack on Pearl Harbor America was very reluctant to become
involved with World War II, and believed that Hitler and his nazi
party were Europe's problem. But on December 7th 1941, the views of
all Americans changed as Admiral Yamamoto and his naval and air forces
from the Empire of Japan, awoke the sleeping Island of Hawaii suddenly
and deliberately, with a relentless unprovoked attack on the U.S.A
navel base at Pearl Harbor. Killing thousands and thousands of men ,
the attack went down in history as one of the most horrific events by
man in history, and also the day America lost it's innocence.
These are a few of the many reasons why producers Jerry Bruckheimer
and Michael Bay decided to make a film about this terrible disaster.
Though when deciding to make the film they wanted to insure that the
film was historically balanced, encompassing not only the American
perspective, but the Japanese as well. To make sure they managed to
fulfill this idea, they had many Japanese advisors on hand throughout
the whole duration of the film, giving their opinions on how to do
particular things, or if it's coming across as too much anti-Japanese!
I feel that this really worked and the film is depicting the Japanese
side in a fair light, and even though the background music when they
cut the Japanese parts, is very low and slightly spine tingling it
still doesn't make the Japanese characters in the film out to be evil,
mass murderers like it might have been without the help of the
The setting and script of Pearl Harbor is brilliant, it is mainly set
on the exact spot that it all took place over 60 years ago. Though
through out the course of the film it gives us many different types of
settings and surroundings, but all fitting in with how they would all
be in 1941, right to the very last detail. For example when Rafe
(played by Ben Affleck) goes to England to fight as one of the Eagles,
How to Cite this Page
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it is a typical English setting with lots of fields, typical country
manor-house, and the typical English accent, with a lot of use of
English slang towards the Americans, 'Yanks'. When Rafe writes to his
girlfriend Evelyn he describes many characteristics about England to
her, such as the cold winter weather, and the beer. The film makers
have also filmed parts of the film in Tokyo, and made it look through
the special effects using computers that they also filmed a number of
shots with the president in the White House, in Washington.
The script is absolutely outstanding, the overwhelming use of feeling,
and emotions from the characters, literally does take your breath
away, no more so during the 40-minute carnage of Pearl Harbor.
Explosions, and special effects really makes the audience want to jump
up out of their seats and help the Americans defend the devastating
onslaught from the Japanese, that is after they finish weeping from
the devastating camera shots of the people dying in front of their
very eyes and the tears of grown men crying as they fear they will
die. But once the bombs stop falling the film returns to its mawkish
central romance, which does take up a lot of the film. The main
characters Rafe, and Danny (played by Josh Hartnett) childhood
friends, are captured in an epic 3 way love triangle with Evelyn
(played by the academy award winner Kate Beckinsale) and eventually
come to blows over her, though at the end the sappiness that is
Hollywood movies came to pass as Danny dies in the arms of his best
friend Rafe after trying to save his life, from the Japanese soldiers.
The emotion that is used in the film to capture what War is really
like, is amazing. It proves that different people act in different
ways, some like Rafe can't wait to get involved and help defend the
country, with no thought about dying, and others are terrified about
the thought of dying and burst into tears and cower in corners or jump
over the side of the ships.
The film also centers around some social issues, like the black cook
Dorrie Miller, (played by the academy award winning Cuba Gooding, JR,
and how he wasn't allowed in his 3 years in the navy allowed to fire a
single gun, and even though he was an undefeated boxing champion he
still wasn't supposed to fight. Though when the attack comes he goes
straight onto a double barrel huge machine gun, and attempts to
destroy enemy planes. To great success as well, then he was the first
black man ever to be awarded the Navy cross. Though he wouldn't be the
In the film they use many different types of music to set the mood.
Like I said earlier they played very dramatic, nerving music when we
saw the Japanese, but when the attacks are over and all the thousands
of casualties are rushing to the hospital and the nurses are under
extreme pressure, the background music is very sad and heartbreaking
as all these nearly dead people bombard the single small hospital. And
when Danny and Rafe take to the sky amongst the dramatic, devastating,
destruction that is going on around them, the music is a faster paced,
exhilarating type of music.
The film Pearl Harbor does justice to the 3000 strong who died at the
attack, the acting was tremendous, and the script was amazing and
fair, it is a film that can be watched by war film lovers, romance
lovers, and historical lovers. From a critical perspective it was very
easy to be able to analyze the film, as it had so many strong points
and not much to correct it on. It is a truly remarkable film.
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