Custom «Management Video Case on Saving Private Ryan» Essay Paper Sample

Management Video Case on Saving Private Ryan

Movies writers most at times portray a theme or several themes when scripting their movies. They may write at what affects them or whatever affected them in one way or another hence end up writing about real life experiences. In certain movies, apart from creativity of non existing issues, some elements of truth do appear.

In the movie; Saving Private Ryan the character John Miller, an American soldier is in a mission of saving lives. Ethics, addresses questions about morality that is; the concerned given to the impact in determining if actions taken against some things or something is wrong or right. It is in the movie that we are made aware of the plight of good against the evil. In essence it is believed that the Americans are good where as the Germans are bad -this triggers a war! Consequently, Miller being the old man remembers the events of the time he took part in D-Day where many of his friends and countrymen were to die. Therefore, in the start of the film where there is an attack, it happens as part of a set-up. This depicts much about ethics as it unveils in the film.

Ethics revolves around the study of what makes actions right and wrong. It gives room where one can raise certain questions relating to certain actions. These may involve theories that can offer moral principle one could appeal to in resolving difficult moral decisions. In the movie at a later scene, Miller and his men decide to secure a Nazi outpost. A serious war ensues. There is gun and blood. The German soldiers take on the American soldiers in what is seen as a total bloodshed. This indeed unethical especially when one U.S soldier blames the German soldier asking him, "why did you kill him?" yet themselves are still shading each other's blood.

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Unlike the way in which the Germans are interweaved in the story via distributed exposition, the narrative utilizes what the audience believes in order to create a shock or surprise by the end, much like a mystery film. This concentrated exposition is delayed until the end in order to maintain the highest possible level of surprise. As Miller dies we wonder how he can be by the graves, but through a dissolve from the young Private Ryan's face (a character we meet much later in the story).

In life there comes a time when one is supposed to make a decision. It may carry both positive and negative impact aftermath. Decision making involves deciding different choices with certain risks upon them. In the movie, Captain Miller and his company are given the task of finding Private Ryan, who has lost all his brothers and sisters. This military undertaking under the mission of salvaging Private Ryan comes at a time when there is World War II. Captain Miller is expected to lead from the front to save Ryan and consequently these involve guns and bullets. This to any extend may entail losing his own life. If he goes to the war, he risks facing death. If he decides to stay, he may be seen as a traitor and a coward for that matter. He finds himself between a rock and a hard place in making the decision of leading military mission of saving Ryan.

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It is also in the midway of the film when the soldiers' health is at risk. They are exposed to inhuman conditions. The place is wet and dark. There plane is about to hit the beach. On the other hand, the sounds of German machine gun fire are heard. This terrifies them. Some of the troops even after crossing the shore they lose their lives. Most of them die in this particular mission and the few still surviving have to make a decision of soldiering on. This indeed is a hard decision to make, that instead of surrendering they keep up with the fight.

In another incident after crossing the shore, there is this place where one soldier loses his arm after being gunned down. He takes the decision of picking the arm advances with the war. Another soldier drags his fellow soldier ahead seeking some shelter. Suddenly on the ground there is an explosion but this does not deter him from taking the decision of moving ahead by still dragging his fellow soldier only to get to know later that the lower half of his comrade has been blown away. This is indeed a painful decision to make especially if you are a weak soldier.

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For any effective management, communication is a vital tool. Just as psychologist put it, a family being a unit, needs to have frequent communication. All actions are brought forth by communication. Bill Gates (1955) "I am optimistic that if you have sound facts, you can put a sound policy into effect." With all channels of communication in position, management becomes successful. In the film saving Private Ryan, the story revolves around American Solders going to a different land to rescue Ryan. First of all, they get a challenge of entering a completely new place. The nature of the unfolding events become tough as some of the American's solders are shot. This triggers the issue if being extremely cautions. The solders have to increase their communication skills and techniques so as to avoid unnecessary injuries and to enable them have a successful mission. With the aid of Captain Miller, instructions are channeled in the fastest and safest way possible. Any work of art must communicate to the audience. A work of art such as a movie, which has a number of characters, uses a two way communication system. Characters must communicate to themselves thereafter, the audience to get the entire communication.

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Communication involves passing any information successful and later after to receive a feedback. Captain Miller is forced to communicate by use of Sign Language best understood by the audience. The audience is at such an instance forced to try and interpret the sign language. The feedback is not necessary by word of mouth or by sign language, after Captain Miller gives them instructions he expects the solders to respond by doing well in the war; fighting. In terms of plot, like a narrative, the movie unfolds events through actions. This can be termed as dramatic narration. After the main battle, we are not told where we are. One of Captain Miller's men is seen putting soil in a small container like thing which is labeled France. The small tin is then placed next to besides many other tins with country names labeled on them with a similar handwriting and similar pen color. As anyone can interpret, the solder puts a soil sample visiting a country. This then becomes an indication that the solder is in France. Certainly, the audience is told though the action that Normandy is in France.

In terms of communication, repetition is creates a sense of emphasis and a reminder to the audience of what is the main plot, theme or the main message to be put across. There is a repeated clip of a German solder using an automatic rifle several times. Later we are presented with the 'barbaric' Nazi soldier who swears he did not shoot Miller's medic. Remorse is shown for the one dead American soldier while two dead German's lay as mere objects in the background. The 'heroic' American's allow the 'barbaric' German to go, however, his 'barbarism' is reinforced when he returns in the final battle seen shooting American soldiers dead. Eventually, a 'heroic' American soldier kills the 'barbaric' German. While we continually see the American's discussing the morality of war throughout the film, no attention of the plot is given to the story of that particular soldier when he is not interacting with Miller and his men. The soldier could just have easily been discussing the same subjects: why he didn't want to fight, or whether he actually agreed with the Nazis' motives, or whether he was so scared of being killed.

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The film portrays a number of ideas and themes. There is the theme of value of life. The main mission is to save Private Ryan. His three brothers have already been killed in the battle and he was the only surviving brother. Captain Miller has been assigned to command his men, eight of them, to go into the deeper most part of their enemy's territory and save him. We are seeing eight men risking their lives so as to save a single man. Well, their decision is backed by the idea among the Americans that if brothers happen to die in the battle, filed, at least one should be taken home safely. This is the main idea in the film. Captain Miller has to ensure that Private Ryan is safe home as he has lost all his brothers. The audience might fail to see the logic of the theme of value of life as it might have been better for the eight solders to go home by saving their lives than risking the eight lives to save one.

The theme of sacrifice also props out. In such a war related movie, the solders deciding to take part in the mission showcase a big deal of sacrifice. In the end of the mission, Captain Miller's final statement to Private Ryan is, "Earn this. Earn it" Spielberg (1988). Six men perished in trying to save him. Captain Miller compels him to own the lives of all those who saved him. The film brings forth the idea of human life and how measurable it can be. Are there more important people than others? We saw some solders questioning the idea of risking eight lives to save one. They told that those were orders from above- no one was allowed to question orders.

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In terms of the narrative's communicativeness, Miller may see German soldiers scream out in pain, get blown up, die etc., yet we only see his countrymen get hurt. This subjective view allows us to centralize our attention on him, with the story information of German soldiers dying, being restricted in the plot. This restriction of knowledge forces the audience to stay loyal to the character of Miller. He's fighting the 'enemy' (clearly delineated in the 'focalization' of the narrative), we fight the enemy; he hates to see his countrymen die, but doesn't care about German deaths - so do we, and so on.

At times the film sends us astray as we see too much shooting from the German's side. For some the mind of the viewer drifts from Captain Miller to the German soldiers. We see them aiming their nozzles so carefully and professionally and just like any other viewer, one might get fond of them. Its only when Captain Miller comes into action in counteracting against the Germans do we get reminded that Captain Miller was our profound fun.

The film uses uncommunicativeness to create tension much like a mystery film hides/chooses not to divulge story information in the plot, in order to create tension when enigmas are revealed. For example, in the final stages of the film, as we have throughout the film, we follow Miller's men on their mission. The initial quest is complete, however, after a new conflict arises for the protagonist, Miller and his men have to defend a bridge from German attack. The concealment of story information comes in the form of not knowing where the German's are. We know from character discourse that they are close; we also know they will come close to the bridge. The plot provides us with auditory clues in that we hear German soldier's talking, and a German general on a loud speaker commanding troops. We are also given optical clues in that we see dust from German vehicles being created nearby, and one American soldier looking from a clock tower sees German soldiers mobilizing. By not showing us what the German's are doing exactly, and not allowing us to understand the German's discourse (for a non-German speaking audience), tension is built - will they find the Americans, will there be a battle, who will survive? This again delineates the narrative's point of view, because the only reason the tension is not reversed (for example, we feel tension for the Germans), is because we know everything, in terms of the story, that we need to know about the Americans - we know where they are, we know who they are; and we know their motives.

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The film 'Saving Private Ryan' has its story dating back to World War II. Americans were in total clash with the Germans. No matter how any viewer might interpret their enmity, it comes to dawn that there is a culture developed in the film specifically meant for the viewer. This is the culture that the Americans are the super stars, heroes and the best before the viewer's mind. We see the Germans coming in enormous numbers yet the Americans are very few. You will find yourself wishing that the few to win against the many. That's when the few can be praised. What if the reverses happen; the many to win against the few? There will be no praising in the sense that, there will be a reason for the defeat: The winners outnumbered the losers. A culture created here is that the Germans have no reason for defeat but the Americans have a reason for defeat though we see them struggling to the end.

In terms of the control of pictorial knowledge, you have to look for the optical and auditory clues. As already mentioned, we are presented with a very subjective view of the Allies involvement during World War II, and our range of knowledge is restricted to the character of Miller (or Private Ryan, if he is recalling what Miller tells him before he dies). In the initial battle scene, we follow Miller's movements - when he stops, we stop; when he hides, we hide with him. It is our interpretation of what he sees and hears that forms our own judgment. The use of muffled/distorted sound centralizes on him, in that we can imagine that is what he is hearing either because his ears have been injured, hence the distorted sound, or an inference to his psychological state in that he is trying to block out the noise. This gives the audience a direct indication that our knowledge of the story is based on and around him.

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Captain Miller has been given the task of leading a group of soldiers to save Private Ryan and bring him back home safely. He is meant to show and adhere to effective leadership skills for the mission to come out successful. In as much as a leader is meant to use methods approachable and convenient, his group should also exhibit cohesiveness. 'A wise man listens before he speaks.' Captain Miler seeks advice from the other soldiers in matters that seem hard to tackle alone. All the same, he cannot tackle the mission alone. He relies on his soldiers to partake the mission.

There is a well rounded theme of change and conflict. At first, the war seemed to be a normal war, tracing back to World War II. The conflict at first is not told. But at the event of three Ryan brothers dyeing, there is a change of plan and strategy. Private Ryan landed behind the enemies' territory. The Americans need to change their plan and start finding ways to save and rescue Private Ryan. The conflict at hand becomes to confront the Germans and to make it worse, the Americans have to enter to the deeper most part of the German territory. This heightens the conflict. To the viewer, the sharp drift of change and conflict is not felt immediately and they happen so fast and almost unconsciously.











The success of bringing Private Ryan back home safely really relied on motivation. The Americans started losing their soldiers one by one. There is a big temptation to give up as each soldier start to wonder who will die next. The trait of motivation softly strengthens the viewer to keep watching hoping that the Americans would still succeed. The trait of motivation is seen at the scenes where we know the German soldiers must be dying. We see them shooting, yet this is all we see. This suppression of gaps helps focalize the story on Miller and the Americans while delineating a divide between what the plot believes are the "good" and "bad". The gap however is temporary, as we see dead German bodies being searched and/or moved. We fill in the gap that other German soldiers must have died in the firefight previous. Although the gap is suppressed, "surprise" is not its goal which is usually a major use of the suppressed gap. In this case, the gap (which we can imagine would be German soldiers screaming in pain, and dying in much the same way as the Americans) localizes our attention on the American soldier's deaths. It creates a causal relationship in that the "barbaric" German bullets kill the "helpless but heroic" Americans. Therefore when, in this case, we fill in the gap, through the subjective view presented to us, the dead German soldiers are mere trophies of the "heroic" American's who have survived this long is also a motivating factor that the mission will be successful. Because of this set-up, when American soldiers later kill surrendering Germans, there is less a sense of reversed-barbarism more an awful feeling of payback. The cause and effect of the events presented in the first battle work on the audiences' generic expectations of a war movie, and reinforce the "good" and "evil" divides. Hence, the aspect of motivation also occurs in the viewer's mind.

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Organization involves division of tasks. Captain Miller creates a structure on how to deploy his men at relevant places for attack and defense. He also ensures that the injured are well taken off. He makes it his responsibility to receive reports across the mission. The chain of command emanates from his position. He is the unit of command and the symbol of authority with legitimate right to make decisions so as to get his desire outcomes.

The audience is continually presented with the 'heroic Americans' and 'barbaric Germans'. Examples include the eventual introduction of the Nazi soldiers as they stare down the barrels of their guns killing U.S soldiers. Additionally, in a later scene Miller and his men decide to secure a Nazi outpost. We are given the information that they go to fight but we only hear the gun battle, we don't see it. Then the guns stop firing, and we are introduced to a German soldier held at gun point, with one U.S soldier shouting at him, "Why did you kill him", referring to a U.S comrade who had just been shot dead. If we take this as the "initial" scene (the audience hearing the bullets being fired as prior plot events), we are presented with the question of why are we, through Miller and his men, in remorse over the death of one U.S soldier, while two dead German soldiers lie dead in the background? The fact is we don't ask the question because we are not allowed to - if the narrative hadn't taken its point of view with Miller, and from the U.S perspective, then such remorse wouldn't have been so easily centralized with the U.S soldier. A prime example of the point of view being reversed is in Wolfgang Peterson's Das Boot, where our remorse is firmly centered on a German U-Boat's crew. The organization structure thus favors the activities of the Americans and eventually, their mission is successful, despite the loss of six soldiers.

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As Ryan falls down observing the graves, he recalls the lives which he owes; they saved him then fell prey to German's bullets. His family is in shock for what they never knew. Apart from the entertainment aspect of the film, there is more to the management of the events attached to it. The success is made possible from the management structure.

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