Platoon is a war film directed by Oliver Stone during the year 1986. It shows the excesses of the Vietnam War and its effect on infantry soldiers. To date, Platoon is the second most successful film, which grapples with the issue of Vietnam war, with box office of more than 138 million U.S. dollars (after Rambo 2 which in the U.S. alone grossed more than $ 190 million being the first).
Stone processed in the movie his own experiences during the Vietnam War. Platoon is the beginning of a trilogy about the Vietnam War. The second film is Born on the 4th July, the series and concluded with Between Heaven and Hell.
The central theme of the film is the struggle of two sergeants, Barnes and Elias, two father figures to the young soldier who hesitates between the two. Barnes symbol of blind brute force, the armed wing of a state. In contrast Elias is the moral conscience, one who refuses to degrade himself, even when the enemy itself is cruel. It is a Christ figure in the film repeatedly shown his arms crossed, even when he dies. It is also the individual that is perhaps the most lucid in the movie as he does not believe in the victory. Finally, as he says at the end of the film feels like Taylor was born of two different fathers.
Stone is seen at the end of the film in a cameo as a battalion commander in a bunker of the North Vietnamese army for a suicide mission with an explosive belt. Platoon helped the actor Charlie Sheen for a breakthrough. Charlie’s father, Martin Sheen had the lead role in the 1979 Vietnam film Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola who also played in it.