Review of 'FORGOTTEN HEROES ~ SUMMER of 69' ~
by Mikey Verusiunctio
"If it’s from Michael Savage aka Sirtony it must be good... Indeed it was, in fact it’s more than just good…It was exceptional!
Can’t believe what I’m reading while going through President Johnson’s speech… Such superficiality… Such hypocrisy! Thinking what could possibly be accomplished by war, I can’t help but feel angry when he said: “I think I know, too, how their mothers weep and how their families sorrow.”
The innocence of youth is apparent in Ben and Maria’s first encounter and somehow it makes me feel young again while reading through. The dialogue between them would also give me a feel of the times… Was hard then especially that Maria needed a job at such a young age. The hint of a possible romance too at this early point makes it already engaging to read.
Learning how Ben’s father died in the war in Korea and how there is one going on in Vietnam already makes you want to ask why all these just have to be. Ben’s reaction to Maria when he was asked if he’s going to fight in the war and her question on whether she’ll also be sent when she’s eighteen best shows how innocent they were. It’s sad how Ben can just hope that the war is over when the time comes coz he dreaded the idea of having to kill people.
To me, the heart of the script is when Ben said: “I pray to God I never have to go to War and kill people.” and when Maria asked him: “Why do men kill each other?” to which Ben didn’t really know the reason why. Such priceless truth in Maria’s statements: “I guess men never really grow up… They get older but they act like little boys… If they were real men they wouldn't act like little boys by fighting each other. And killing each other. They would talk about it. Be like my mother…Yeah, she never fights, she always works things out with words.” This I believe is the best solution to war.
I find it cute and romantic when Maria gave Ben a flower and he said: “Wait, aren't boys supposed to give flowers to girls?” I love how Maria replied: “So, we passed a million flowers and you didn't give me one. So, I thought maybe I'd give one to you.” It just got more engaging for sure.
Another cute scene was when Maria said: “Oh, and don't worry about going to War. I won't let them take you.” and “Don’t worry I’ll think of something.” when Ben asked how. It was childish and romantic in a way. The script is consistent in making them so true to their characters.
I’m surprised how you were able to introduce characters in the script without me feeling bored. What I’m not surprised about is to find out through Frank and Todd’s confrontation scene that discrimination has long been an issue. Well, isn’t it ever present in any society?
Picked up some priceless advice from Coach Hoffman: *Always dive like it's an ability that you have and it's easy for you...Then they'll know you are a champion.”
*It's more then just the dive. You have to know how to handle the whole event. Patience and confidence, dignity and grace.”
*You never lose when you compete and know you've done your best.
A powerful scene is @ Karla’s Coffee Shop when Tylor and Kim were talkin’ about Andy her brother and Tylor's High School friend who was killed in Nam . Kim tried to forget about him but Tylor says: “Don't do that. He was a hero. Andy was a brave soldier. Don't ever forget him. Don't you see?...there's already too many forgotten heroes ...don't let Andy be one more.” Then right after comes this precious insight about people who died fighting… “They gave their lives before they had a chance to live.”
It just got more engaging after seeing this romantic angle in Tylor and Kim’s friendship and the ‘engagement’ of Jimmy and Lisa. Now I need some popcorn… So engrossed in the story!
Very interesting to learn about Todd’s reason for joining the army (about machismo and how it is his duty to GOD and his country) and how discrimination would make him more determined to join in order to achieve ‘equality’. Maggie has very good perspective… “Todd, God isn't over there, fighting in South Vietnam...it's a man’s War made by men not by God. And going to War and shooting innocent people that you don't even know...doesn't make you a man. And if your father was still alive he wouldn't want you to fight in this War.” Great insights once again from this scene.
The parting scene between Todd and Maggie is just so heart breaking… One can see clearly here how war can keep people apart… It has divided nations against other nations… Even a nation against itself.
Not sure if the reason why they didn’t want everyone else to know about their relationship is because of discrimination but nice to see here how love can be stronger (than discrimination) when Maggie told Todd that she didn’t care about it anymore if they do find out. Character and story build up here is so effective… I’m even more engrossed now.
Tylor and Kim at the High School Football Stadium when he breaks down and talks about drugs and how some soldiers commited suicide over there in Nam.
“No shit...but you'll never get a telegram from uncle Sam telling you that. No, way...no fucking way.” Sounds like the government has been concealing information about this… Well, I’m not really surprised but I’m still shocked to learn about this. So sad coz they’re so traumatized during the war that the damage is permanent and they still suffer with agonizing nightmares and flashbacks. Their lives are never the same. As we see in Tylor.
People are being made to think that going to war is a man’s obligation to nation. As Rick would put it: “It's not up to me. It's up to my country.” Would they jump off a cliff if the government tells them to do so? Such blindness!
“we have to be grateful for what we do have and not feel sorry for ourselves. There is always someone who has a far more painful story.” One of the greatest lessons to be learned in life… Just priceless!
“There are those that believe this War is a waste of our youth. Most of our youth believe in love...Not War. They are indeed crying out for another way to end this conflict of ideals. Then there are those who would say they owe it to their country to serve. I say...all War is wrong...and giving guns to children to kill people will never be right.” Reverend Samuel couldn’t be more correct… So spot on!
I’m blown away with the following monologue…
*“Didn't it mean anything that they didn't want to go? That you had to draft them? That you put their birthday's into a basket and you picked out their numbers like it was a bingo game “What is it you are so afraid of in South Vietnam? That you have to kill the very foundation of our country...our children. My son ...and every other mother's son who has sacrificed a child for your stupidity.”
*“If our government leaders are so afraid of the Viet-Cong why don't they fight them? I'm not afraid of them...I see them as people...people we don't even know...people that we have invaded their country and killed their children too...and why? Is it because we are afraid to look in our own backyard and take care of our own people’s needs? What's so great about our democracy?”
*“When we still have black people fighting for the right to sit down at a counter and have a cup of coffee...what about their freedom that Lincoln died for? That President Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy all died for right here...not in Vietnam.”
*“I would rather my son had died in a march for civil rights...at least I could've said he gave his life in a worthy cause. How do I forgive our leaders who sent you to give me this?”
*“You can't have Ben. I won't let you take him. But tell the President if he goes to War we will all go with him. Even me and my daughter. We will be right by his side. You tell him...because we have no one to listen to us except YOU! So please tell him for all the parents who have lost their husbands, wives, son's and daughters in Vietnam. Can you do that?”
It’s kinda crazy how President Johnson would say this as he was drafting young kids to fight in this war:
'January 12th 1966 During President Johnson's State of the Union address before Congress
"The Vietnam War is unlike America's previous Wars. Yet, finally, War is always the same. It is young men dying in the fullness of their promise. It is trying to kill a man that you do not even know well enough to hate...therefore, to know War is to know there is still madness in this world."
To think that he was the one who sent them out there. Just like that…
This is the first script that I’ve ever read and I would say it was a great learning experience… Great insights and so many lessons learned… Never in my whole life have I heard such powerful lines in a film and I’m glad to be reading it in it’s raw form.
The world should definitely watch this movie… They should learn about the forgotten heroes and how war is not the answer… Never was and never will be! May this as you have envisioned it, honor those who have lost their lives in war and may it be a voice to all those who can’t speak up against the government."
You are brilliant Sirtony…A genius in your field…Excellence is your benchmark!
Can't wait too see the film!!!
Your YOUTUBE friend