In the film, A Few Good Men, characters such as the lead role, Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (played by Tom Cruise) are portrayed to be leaders in society. I believe the movie’s main focus was actually on how different a person can be because of something one person says to them. I also believe that one of the movie’s main ideas was how to work people with words. This is especially true when Colonel Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson) is interrogated by Cruise. The way that Nicholson answers Cruise’s questions is with such sophistication and knowledge that even though you know that he had his speech written out for him, it was delivered with such eloquence that it allows the viewer to understand what Nicholson is really feeling at that particular moment.
It is hard to watch a movie and really understand everything completely the first time through, and you always know that you will catch different parts of it if you watch it again. Especially in A Few Good Men this is very visible. There are many parts in the movie that you will not understand the first time. One particular scene is when Cruise and Lieutenant JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore) are discussing the case when Cruise is in a rage. He is saying things such as, “Oh, I forgot. You were sick the day they taught law at law school,” as an audience member the viewer knows that he will regret it. But, there are many times in this scene where Cruise and Moore go back and forth at each other, and at points it is very hard to follow what they are saying.
Although the movie was very well put together, there were times when the viewer feels like the movie was trying to spell things out for you rather than have you figure it out for yourself. In the scene where Nicholson is being interrogated by Cruise, Nicholson is trying to describe to the audience just how intelligent he is. He also has a “holier-than-though” attitude, and although it fits his character. I don’t believe that it was the time to use it when he is answering Cruise’s questions. For instance when Cruise asks Nicholson, “I want the truth!” and Nicholson replies, “You can’t handle the truth!” Although that quote is famous for Nicholson, at the time I watched the movie I do not believe it fit what the whole attitude of the courtroom was. The scene in my belief was to illustrate what happens in the military, and what can happen in the military, I did not think it was going to be about morals, and a personal attack on Nicholson’s character.
Despite the fact that I personally did enjoy A Few Good Men I do see how easy it is to not enjoy it, or even be offended by it. The offense could come from how Nicholson’s character more or less insults anyone in the military who does not stand guard like he does. This can be assumed by the viewer because Nicholson says, “Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibly than you can possibly fathom.” He is more or less saying that he is more important than the lawyers because he has a responsibility that he does not think any of them would be able to handle. The movie really portrays how a person really thinks though, because Nicholson does not hold back, he tells it like it is.
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