Jarhead is a film based on U. The title comes from the slang term used to refer to Marines sometimes by Marines themselves. The film begins with voice-over narration on a black screen, as Anthony Swofford Jake Gyllenhaal , waxes philosophically about a soldier whose hands forever remember the grip of a rifle, whatever else they do in life. Swofford is then shown in a U. Marine Corps boot camp, being brutalized by a drill instructor in a scene reminiscent of Full Metal Jacket.
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Jarhead is a American biographical war drama film based on U. Jarhead chronicles Swofford's life story, as he is serving in the Gulf War period. Jarhead is the slang term used to refer to United States Marines. The film was released on November 4, , by Universal Pictures. Claiming that he joined the military because he "got lost on the way to college", Swofford finds his time at Camp Pendleton difficult, and struggles to make friends.
While Swofford feigns illness to avoid his responsibilities, a "lifer", Staff Sergeant Sykes, takes note of his potential and orders Swofford to attend his Scout Sniper course. After gruelling training, the Scout Sniper course is left with eight candidates, among them Swofford, now a sniper, and Swofford's roommate Corporal Alan Troy who becomes his spotter.
Eager for combat, the Marines find themselves bored with remedial training, constant drills, and a routine monotony that feeds their boredom, and prompts them to talk about the unfaithful girlfriends and wives waiting for them at home.
They even erect a bulletin board featuring photographs and brief notes telling what perfidies the women had committed. Swofford obtains unauthorized alcohol and organizes an impromptu Christmas party, arranging for Fergus to cover his watch so he can celebrate. Fergus accidentally sets fire to a tent while cooking some sausages and ignites a crate of flares, waking the whole camp and enraging Staff Sergeant Sykes, who demotes Swofford from lance corporal to private and puts him on "shit-burning" detail.
The punishments, combined with the heat, the boredom, and Swofford's suspicions of his girlfriend's infidelity, give Swofford a mental breakdown, to the point where he threatens Fergus with a rifle, then orders Fergus to shoot him instead. Swofford learns from Sykes that Troy concealed his criminal record when enlisting and will be discharged when the unit returns home.
Troy becomes distant from his friends. Knowing that Troy will not be allowed to reenlist, the Marines attack him with a red-hot USMC branding iron, marking him as one of their own. Following an accidental air attack from friendly forces, the Marines advance through the desert, facing no enemies on the ground.
The Marines march through the infamous " Highway of Death " on the northbound road leading back to Iraq from capital Kuwait City , strewn with the burnt vehicles and charred bodies of retreating Iraqi soldiers, the aftermath of a bombing campaign. The Marines later catch sight of distant burning Kuwaiti oil wells , ignited only moments before by retreating Iraqis, and they attempt to dig sleeping holes as a rain of crude oil falls from the sky.
Before they can finish, Sykes orders the squad to move upwind. Near the end of the war, Swofford and Troy are finally given a sniping mission. Lieutenant Colonel Kazinski, their battalion commander, orders them to kill at least one of two high-ranking Iraqi Republican Guard officers at a nearby airfield. At the last second before Swofford takes the shot, Major Lincoln interrupts them to call in an air strike. Swofford and Troy protest, but are overruled and look on in disappointment as airplanes destroy the Iraqi airfield.
The war ends without Swofford ever firing his rifle. During a monologue, Swofford realizes that all of his training and effort to achieve the elite status as a marine sniper is meaningless in modern warfare. After returning home the Marines parade through a town in a jovial celebration of victory. Swofford returns home to his family and girlfriend but discovers she has a new boyfriend. Fowler is seen with a prostitute in a bar, now as a Lance Corporal, Kruger in a corporate boardroom, Escobar as a supermarket employee, Cortez as a father of three children, and Sykes continuing his service as a first sergeant in the Iraq War.
Later, Swofford learns of Troy's death during a surprise visit from Fergus. He attends his funeral, reunites with some of his old friends and afterwards reminisces about the effects of the war. The site's consensus states: "This first person account of the first Gulf War scores with its performances and cinematography but lacks an emotional thrust.
Jarhead isn't overtly political, yet by evoking the almost surreal futility of men whose lust for victory through action is dashed, at every turn, by the tactics, terrain, and morality of the war they're in, it sets up a powerfully resonant echo of the one we're in today.
In his review for the Washington Post , Stephen Hunter praised Jake Gyllenhaal's performance: "What's so good about the movie is Gyllenhaal's refusal to show off; he doesn't seem jealous of the camera's attention when it goes to others and is content, for long stretches, to serve simply as a prism through which other young men can be observed". Scott felt that the film was "full of intensity with almost no real visceral impact", and called it "a minor movie about a minor war, and a film that feels, at the moment, remarkably irrelevant".
Its polished surfaces and professional style can't compete with the gritty reality conveyed by documentaries like Gunner Palace and Occupation: Dreamland — or, for that matter, by the surreal black comedy of David O. Russell 's Three Kings — that show in no uncertain terms what it's like to be a soldier in Iraq. In his review for the Village Voice , J. Hoberman wrote, "A master of the monotone, Mendes prompts his performers to hit a note and sustain it.
Although Jarhead is more visually accomplished and less empty than American Beauty or Road to Perdition , it still feels oppressively hermetic". Nathaniel Fick , another author who is a Marine, gave the film a mixed review and panned the book on which it is based in Slate. He wrote, " Jarhead also presents wild scenes that probably could happen in combat units, but strips them of the context that might explain how they're more than sheer lunacy".
He wrote, "The key to a film about war is how it ends, and if the young man at the film's centre is lifted out of the battlefield uninjured and sane, if his family and home life before and after aren't prominent in the picture, the movie is diminished as a film which says something about war and becomes a simpler story of growing up, of jeopardy overcome". In a New York Times article, it was noted that war veteran and writer Joel Turnipseed felt that parts of the film's plot had been taken from his book Baghdad Express: A Gulf War Memoir , without his consent.
Jarhead screenwriter William Broyles, Jr. The film is followed by two direct-to-video sequels released in and A fourth film began filming in September From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Original theatrical poster. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved Rotten Tomatoes. Chicago Sun-Times. Entertainment Weekly. Washington Post. Sight and Sound. Archived from the original on USA Today. The New York Times. Los Angeles Times. Village Voice. The Guardian. Film portal.
Jarhead by Anthony Swofford. Universal Pictures. William Broyles, Jr. Washington D. Area Film Critics Association Awards Wikiquote has quotations related to: Jarhead film.
Jarhead : A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles
When the marines -- or "jarheads," as they call themselves -- were sent in to Saudi Arabia to fight the Iraqis, Swofford was there, with a hundred-pound pack on his shoulders and a sniper's rifle in his hands. It was one misery upon an. It was one misery upon another. He lived in sand for six months, his girlfriend back home betrayed him for a scrawny hotel clerk, he was punished by boredom and fear, he considered suicide, he pulled a gun on one of his fellow marines, and he was shot at by both Iraqis and Americans. At the end of the war, Swofford hiked for miles through a landscape of incinerated Iraqi soldiers and later was nearly killed in a booby-trapped Iraqi bunker.
7 Things You Probably Never Knew About ‘Jarhead’
Two months after his twentieth birthday, he was stationed near Riyadh awaiting the onset of Desert Storm, in what we now call the first Gulf War. A decade after that, he enlisted in that alternative American boot camp, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, whose battle-hardened alumni include Raymond Carver and T Coraghessan Boyle. Seduced by the idea that 'the warrior always fights for a sorry cause. And if he lives, he tells stories', Swofford then got out his old desert maps and, armed with his newly drilled prose, set about recounting the tale of his war. Swofford sifts through his old kit in his cellar, the combat clothes 'bleached by sand and sun and blemished with the petroleum rain that fell from the oil-well fires in Kuwait'.
In his New York Times bestselling chronicle of military life, Anthony Swofford weaves his experiences in war with vivid accounts of boot camp, reflections on the mythos of the marines, and remembrances of battles with lovers and family. When the U. He lived in sand for six months; he was punished by boredom and fear; he considered suicide, pulled a gun on a fellow marine, and was targeted by both enemy and friendly fire. As engagement with the Iraqis drew near, he was forced to consider what it means to be an American, a soldier, a son of a soldier, and a man. Get a FREE e-book by joining our mailing list today!