Oct 8, 2002

Fast-forward or super slo-mo?
Watching Saving Private Ryan the other night, I couldn't help but be affected by the scenes in which the Allied soldiers rush madly towards the Normandy beaches, splashing about the beachheads. Not as affected by the graphic scenes of bullets-human rendezvous' as by the randomness of it all. All one can do is rush wildly ahead, just hoping the next bullet doesn't have one's name on it. Completely and utterly random. Except for Tom Hanks of course, being the protagonist, you know he's going to make it. But when the camera pauses, even fleetingly, on some other not-so-famous actor, you are wincing in anticipation of the bullet finding its mark on him. In one scene, one soldier's helmet gets in the way of a sniper shot. As he removes it to wonder at his good-luck amidst cries of "You lucky b***", another bullet crashes into his now unshielded head. Dramatic, yes. But believable in every way. And we don't even know if we're the chosen Hanks for the current scenes. We rush through our lives each day, and who's to say we won't swallow our death-pill in whatever method that day? But all we can do, like those soldiers who made it to the safety of the embankments that July day in Normandy (in piece or pieces) is to keep running full tilt, just hoping it won't be us to fall next. Maybe later, but not now. Our lives are the same, only played out in a much slower motion than a soldier who's running in complete panic and meets his end that much more instantaneously.

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