Let’s all get really sombre now.

Okay, it’s not World War 2 week. It’s War Movie week.
And only because iTunes finally had one of those perfect, muse-like moments where it put on a track I haven’t listened to in a long, long while. For no good reason, either, as it’s something that should be heard as often as possible.

It’s Adagio for Strings, for the magnificent and utterly dark movie Platoon, which tag-line is “The First Casualty Of War Is Innocence”.

The movie itself is a masterpiece. One of the quintessential anti-war movies out there. It’s not as surreal as Apocalypse Now gets, nor is it as long and twisted. But it makes this up with striking imagery and a look at how human minds can snap and how empathy can be filed away until there’s nothing left but the will to survive, no matter the cost, no matter the consequences. It’s a movie about personal horror, about futility and about the limits of human capacity for stress, pain and fatigue. It does not glorify, it does not paint pretty, heroic pictures. It deconstructs. It shows the darkness, the dirt, the grit, the grime.

And for that, it is (rightfully!) commended great recognition and honours.

This piece, Adagio, was not composed for the movie. But it was used for great dramatic and emotional effect.
I still remember the first time watching the movie and being utterly gut-punched by that scene. The pictures, the music and the significance of it all really hit me.
It’s one of the few movies capable of making me tear up.

Listen to it, and let yourself fall into it.
Listen to it in a quiet space with no distractions and just let your mind go… Places.
(And, basically disregard that last statement when you’re feeling blue or down already. Adagio is no upper.)

Samuel Barber – Adagio for Strings [Platoon Soundtrack] | 1986 | String Orchestra

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