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.