Letters from Iwo Jima (2006) Japanese- War Drama Rated- “R” dir. Clint Eastwood
One of the styles of filmmaking I enjoy the most is the ability of a movie to be able to take a moment in history and be able to even-handedly expand on both sides of a conflict. Mr. Eastwood is extremely good at this, as he exhibits in both this movie and its companion, Flags of Our Fathers. The film itself depicts daily life for Japanese soldiers in the island of Iwo Jima before and during the American invasion of WWII.
Drags a bit at times, but overall very epic and branching. Paints an extremely grim and realistic portrait of World War II, equal to that of Saving Private Ryan or A Bridge Too Far.
Despite not being the central protagonist at the start of the story, Ken Watanabe heads up a great ensemble cast. There are many good characters available to show the emotional effects of the internal and external conflicts of war.
The large, sweeping shots of the beautiful island are eventually replaced with the damp claustrophobia of the defenses in the caves. This overall arc, as well as smaller uses of the same effect, accentuate the emotion of the film itself.
A great soundtrack made even better by some great foley work. The special effects are very well done, but not overly glorified or focused on.
A great movie that is just inches away from being perfect.
Good for war movie or WWII history buffs. Stay away if you’re not in the mood for something serious and gritty.