If you were to ask me to name my ten best films ever, maybe even my five best films ever there will be a spot reserved for Good Morning Vietnam. I can’t say how many times I have watched it but too many times is not one of the answers I would give.
The film is a tour de force by Robin Williams who plays Armed Forces DJ Adrian Cronauer. Ably supported by a phenomenal cast which includes Forest Whitaker (Edward Garlick), Bruno Kirby (Lt Hauk), J T Walsh (Sgt Dickerson) and not to forget Cu Ba Nguyen as the irrepressible Vietnamese bar owner Jimmy amongst others.
On the surface Good Morning Vietnam is probably deemed to be comedy, a vehicle for Robin Williams to perform his trademark rapid fire humour, but that would be doing it a massive disservice.
The film is much more than that. It is political film touching on the lies, untruths and duplicity that shrouded America’s involvement in Vietnam.
It is a love story with the unrequited love Robin Williams has for his Vietnamese student Trinh.
It is a buddy movie and you can take pick of buddy relationships, Adrian Cronauer and Edward Garlick, Adrian Cronauer and Tuan (Tung Thanh Tran) who turns out to be Viet Cong, or even the ‘axis of Evil’ Lt Hauk and Sgt Dickerson.
It is about power and it use and abuse. The power to send thousand of young men into war fought over reason that were at best nebulous. The power to censor to censor the truth and ultimately that the power of the state trunphs the power of an individual.
The film follows Adrian Cronauer’s valiant and ultimately doomed attempt to breath life in to a Military Radio station. There are so many greats moments in the film but this always stands out for me for its poignancy and humour.