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Perhaps that is one of the ways Spielberg is trying to undercut the notion of
Ryan's worth.  Ryan has to remain a cipher, or else the movie becomes {more}
preachy and blatant.  I'm not quite sure how to phrase it, but a shift in the
film's focus to Ryan's perspective (other than in the awful bookends) would be
a devestating shift in the overall theme and tone.  It would almost be like
putting Ryan on trial, with Spielberg presenting the evidence to try to prove
or disprove Ryan's worth.  Instead, the film tends to ponder the more general
issue of war.
 
Horak, Chris wrote:
 
> Given the intense discussion this thread had generated on the list, I'm
> surprised no one has mentioned the serious narrative flaws in the film. The
> most troubling of which is the structure of the flashback. While the
> close-up of the as yet unidentified old geezer at the beginning of the film
> cut to the close-up of Tom Hanks' character would lead us to believe that he
> is the narrator of the film, we find out at film's end that it is Private
> Ryan, himself, standing in the cemetery. By that time we know that Ryan was
> never on the Beach on June 6th, that he parachuted behind enemy lines. So
> who is narrating the Omaha Beach sequence and all that transpires before
> Ryan enters the picture?
>
> I also agree with some commentators that Ryan remains a cipher. We certainly
> don't know whether he has lead a good life, indeed, we find out much less
> about him that about our school teacher hero.
>
> Chris Horak
>
> Jan-Christopher Horak
> Director
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