Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Love and War

The first Anne Tyler book I read was The Amateur Marriage, and I must admit I bought the book because the cover was pretty. There is this girl in a bright red overcoat kissing a soldier who was leaning out of a train window. A goodbye scene. Love in the time of war. How romantic! There is something urgent, something undescribably romantic, something real and true about war romances.

When I was a young girl I read "Battle Cry" by Leon Uris, in Mizo no less, and my heart went out to the young couple who were torn apart by the Second World War. Recently I listened to the song "Travelin' Soldier" again, and once again it left me feeling blue and sad. The lonely young soldier who had no one to write a letter to,the young waitress who waited for him and quietly cried when she heard of his death.

I know there is nothing glamorous and romantic about war in real life. All that pain, destruction, suffering, wastage, is something we could all do without. Blame Hollywood and authors for romanticizing it. But still, I love war movies, not that I've watched many, but I'm quite happy with the ones I've watched. And don't ask me which one is my favourite, because my answer would be "All of them." The Last Samurai ranks pretty high on the list, Saving Private Ryan, Enemy at The Gates, Lord of The Rings, Letters From Iwo Jima, The Longest Day, Braveheart, The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now, The Patriot etc are all very good. The best ones are the ones with a hint of romance in them. The English Patient, Pearl Harbour,Casablanca, Gone With The Wind (although there wasn't a single battle scene in the movie - as per Google search - it still ranks as one of the best war movies. Haven't seen the movie, but read the book ages ago).

I haven't seen the old ones like All Quiet on the Western Front, The Bridge On the River Kwai, From Here to Eternity, The Great Escape, Where Eagles Dare, etc, but will try to see them in the future. Haven't seen The Hurt Locker either. This post is turning out to be a list of the war movies I am yet to set my eyes on.

And the songs! I wish I could go on and on about the love songs about a soldier going off to war while his girl pined for him, but as I write this not a song comes to mind. The only song that surfaces is Green Day's 21 Guns, and I don't know if it classifies as a war song, it's more about the war within, methinks. How about you share the songs and I listen to them?


  1. Seen them all, including the ones you haven't seen yet :D Am a total war movie junkie. How could you not watch Bridge on the river Kwai yet? It was a RAVE in Mizoram back in the 80s. Saw it so many times with my cousins and uncles. :)

    The guns of Navarone is another classic you should definitely include in your list of war movies to watch :) A classic non-WWII movie I used to love is North and South, about the American Civil war. Its actually a TV mini series, and we used to rent them from "Video Link" in the early 90s. :D

    Also, don't miss "The Pacific", made by the same people who gave us "Band of Brothers". Its a limited series and currently running on TV (AXN I think)

    Yes there is something romantic about war. Havent read Gone with the Wind but saw the video many times. Its beautiful. Tolstoy would be another great example of a War based love story writer.

    Speaking of Greenday, you must watch the music video of "Wake me up, when September ends", not the music channel version, but the entire original version, with all the dialogues etc. Very touching indeed.

    ok I dont think I am going to stop, now that you have touched my favorite movie genre (this and zombie flicks). So I will force myself to stop writing now :)

  2. War songs, ihhh.. Dire Straits- Brothers in Arms, Cranberries- Zombie, Deep Purple- Soldier of fortune, U2- Sunday, bloody Sunday,leh a dangte (which basically means I don't know anymore)

    The first war movie, actually, series, Ive watched was "Tour of Duty" on Starplus with the Rolling Stones' "Paint it Black" as the theme song. I loved that series.

  3. The best romantic war novel I've read is Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms. It is semi autobiographical. It was also made into a movie starring Sandra Bullock and I was the only one (I think) who watched it when it came to a theater in Madras back in 97 :D. However it was only loosely based on the novel. Great Novel. Decent Movie (which usually is the case).

    Good war songs?
    Springsteen's Born in the Usa (anti war song but still..)

    CCR's Fortunate Son (Anti Vietnam song)

    Ka hre mai lo a dang chu.

  4. tinge lal-doctor doris-i hian a blog hi "by invitation only" in a siam vel a. Thring reuh eee :D

  5. War movies ka en tam lo, ka en chhun chu hmuhnawm ka ti viau.

    Gone with the Wind hi ka nei, ka d/l, fiah tha khawp mai, vawi hnih ka en. ka la pe ve dawn che nia :D

  6. Kima - Okay okay I WILL see TBOTRK (Bollywood shtyle). I think they even used to show it on the TNT channel (remember TNT?) Ditto with TGON. The Pacific - I don't watch TV, so I guess I'll have to download the thing.
    Zombie flicks... ugghh... ka thaw ti ipik thei ras mai ka en ve chuan. I'd rather watch vampire flicks, although I'm sick and tired of the Twilight series and Team this and Team that,because of which I haven't even read the books. It's a good read, so they say.

    Kuku - Thanks for the songs. I haven't seen Tour of Duty, again because I don't watch TV much. It looks interesting.

    Mos-a - The movie you're talking about is In Love and War, again I haven't seen it, haven't read the book either. My list of movies-not-seen and books-not-read grows longer. Thanks for the songs.
    Nia Doctor Doris-i hi maw keipawh a blog ah hian min sawm bik lo.

    Varte - Kan inang vel nih chu, ka en chhun hi chu hmuhnawm ka ti fu zel keipawh. Ka lawm khawp ang GWTW chu min pek ve dawn chuan.

  7. Pearl Harbor would be my favorite, and I've seen "Bridge on the river Kwai", but it's kinda boring when you watched it for the tenth time. Gone With The Wind lo en chu a hman thlak e mai... LOL

  8. I saw Operation Daybreak with my wife before we were wedded on a Cinema date at Zodin. Can't say I really enjoy War Movies. Listen to Dylan's Anti War songs Masters of War and With God on Our Side.
    ( wordpress account in comment thei lo dr_feelgood)

  9. Alejendro - The Bridge on The River Kwai vawi sawm lo en chu lawm le hman thlak le :P You must be a HUGE fan to see it ten times, in which case you shouldn't find it boring.

    wordpress atanga comment theilo dr_feelgood - You were wedded on a cinema date? That too at Zodin?hehehe just kidding. Weren't there any romantic movies to see at the time? Because a war movie doesn't help set the right mood, methinks.
    And thanks for the songs.

  10. Kan hun lai chuan Zodin, Ar, leh Pushpak aia tha in date na ala awm hlei nem.Film dang pawh kan en tho alawm, not only war movies.

  11. daniel - In hunlai chuan in la vannei tal anih chu, cinema hall a kalna tur te in la nei tal a. Tunah chuan Zodin pawh secondhand hmunpui anih tawh saw. In nu nen chuan va thing dun vel ula, hmana in thutna hmun awm vel taka mi ngei kha han thing ngei ula, a rawmantik dan a dawbawl ngawt ang :)

  12. greenday - 21 guns ka ngaithla mek mawle!!

  13. ok,now my normal comment. hehe. Grease 2 ami "lets do it for our country, the red white and the blue" tih vel kha.. war song chu ni ve tho lo maw? :-) Kha chiah kha hriat ka nei.hehe

  14. Mimi - Grease chu tleeeem chuan a war movie lo deuh :) but that was a very patriotic song, and could be applied to any war movie. I hriat chhun mah ni se i hre tha tho tho e.

  15. My heart aches whenever I listen "I Told You So" by Carrie Underwood and Randy Travis. Nice lyric.

    And nice theme, just saw this morning and its kind of refreshing.

  16. Kym - Yes that's a very sad and heartbreaking song.
    I used this template from yesterday, thought it was appropriate for the monsoon. Glad you liked it.