The Deer Hunter is technically slick, and perhaps its documentary and verité effects are even brilliant; something must have prompted usually discriminating critics to opt for unction and naïvete.
And, I suppose, for those who have forgotten what Vietnam was really about, or would wish to forget, or are too young to remember, or are truly naive, the slickness is persuasive; the wedding guests, the blood gushes, the bullets thud and the rotors of helicopters make the sound that is forever embedded in my brain, from years of attending the reality. Otherwise, the symbolism is leaden (one shot for the proud stag etc.), the schmaltz elongated and the sadism utterly...
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