Making friends with wolves and Indians? Two things an American soldier would have never dreamed of. “Dances with Wolves” is the name rightly given to Lieutenant John Dunbar by the Sioux Indian tribe he befriends. The director, Kevin Costner stars in this award winning film masterpiece.
The plot of this movie involves unrealistic aspects that are convoluted yet resolved. The dialogue was simplistic and believable due to the complexity of communication between the white people and Indians. The unrealistic aspects begin the movie off when John Dunbar rides horse- back into confederate lines alone, and comes out without harm done. This act was viewed as an act of suicide yet John undermines this unbelievably.
The themes in this movie include racism, love and friendship, and loyalty and betrayal. Racism is shown by the white American soldiers who judge the Indians by stereotypes before they meet them. John Dunbar is the exception because he shows compassion and peace toward them which is ultimately beneficial as they help each other in various ways, one being the buffalo hunt. Friendship is created by John showing kindness to the Sioux, and love comes later on when John marries the white Sioux Stands with Fists. When the Union soldiers came out to Dunbar’s soldier fort, then he returns from living with the Sioux, they mistake him as a trader. John unsuccessfully tries to show them he has not betrayed the Union, but made peace with the Sioux.
The recurring symbols in Dances with Wolves are presented in the title: a wolf and a dance. Dunbar is at first afraid of the wolf, as the wolf is of him. Over time, Dunbar gets over his fear and becomes fascinated with the wolf. He gains the wolf’s trust by feeding him. Eventually, they become used to each other. It is unusual for these two natural enemies to become friends, but Dunbar’s willingness to “get to know” the wolf leads him to understand that the stereotypical view of the wolf as a savage killer is not accurate. This is an exact comparison of the relationship of Dunbar and the Sioux Indian tribe.
The acting in Dances with Wolves was well done and very genuine in my personal opinion. Kevin Costner performed astoundingly well as John Dunbar. He really seemed to connect with the character. Also, as Kevin being the director gave a n advantage and emphasis on the way the acting turned out as a whole. The actors who played Indians were amazing, as they should be for being professional actors. These roles were tough to encompass but as a whole the cast was phenomenal. The viewers of this film, from my perspective were satisfied with the film and did not get bored as the action packed scenes keep you on your toes and engrossed in the movie at all times.
The costumes were very realistic and and well made. The film was quite advanced being made in the time period it was. St. David’s field in Tennessee had a lot to offer the creation of the movie. The significance of the set was the vast landscape performed on. The great prairie has no limit on space which I feel the film benefited greatly from. The buffalo hunt could not have been filmed differently in regards to the land. Also the amount of horseback riding was greatly influenced by the plethora of open field and grassland.
At the end of Dances with Wolves, the viewer is left awestruck by the forbidden love of a white man and his foreign friends. The courage of this white man to fight against all odds and accomplish something miraculous is unbelievable for the time period, making it the movie of a generation that will live on in the hearts of the viewers.
Courtney from Study Moose
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