The Vietnam war is one of the most controversial wars that have taken place in the past century. Robin Williams helps to tackle this war in the shape of Adrian Cronauer, in Good Morning Vietnam (1987). Adrian is an eccentric and irreverent DJ who is assigned to the US Army Services Radio Station in Vietnam.
Adrian is a man from Queens, NY, and our eyes into the film is through him, and through his eyes we see the real condition of Vietnam, the poverty, the prostitution and the sheer divide between both cultures.
During Adrian’s lift from the airport to the station, he finds a beautiful woman, Edward (Whittaker) however decides it’s against regulations and drives on. Nevertheless, Adrian finds her once again and he ends up teaching her English class in order to be near her, but ends up enjoying the class and enjoys the joy and important education he brings them.
The difference between both cultures is underlined for Adrian when he realises nothing could ever happened in a comical date with her and the whole of her family. He tells her, ‘I know, it could never happen, but we can still have laughs, I want anything you can give me’.
Adrian’s assistant in the studio is Edward, from the opening he is ignorant and by the book. It doesn’t take long before Edward takes to Adrian in the studio with his rude jokes and jokes on the air along with the rest of the U.S troops, except two higher ranking men who want him out, Lt. Steven Hauk and Sgt. Major Dickerson. Unfortunately for the men in Vietnam it’s these men that eventually kick Adrian off the air and out of the country, after Adrian enjoys a friendship with a young vietnamese boy who turns out to be a VC terrorist.
Both the Lt. and Sgt. Major constantly represent different interests in Vietnam, Adrian simply wants to tell the truth and tell the soldiers the real news that has been censored out, whilst they want them to know what they have said, and want the DJ to be respectful and dull. Adrian once says, ‘What are you afraid of Dickerson? People might find out there’s a war going on?’.
'Good Morning, Vietnam' (1987) is formally a comedy, but what makes this comedy a modern classic, is how it touches on the real truth's of the war that America didn't understand. The news censorship in this film represents the corruption and deceit of the Vietnam war, it underlines the propaganda that was the wars main purpose, to show that the world will not crumble to communism.
Adrian Cronauer in his own right, was a war hero in his own way. He gave soldiers fighting in gruelling conditions who faced death in the face every day, a few hours of happiness and laughs.
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) - 7/10