Full Metal Jacket is a movie following the story of a group of young men in their training journey to become soldiers in the Vietnam War under the supervision of the hostile and cold General Hartman. Despite the film being set in Vietnam, the main purpose of the movie is that it tells a story of the loss of individuality as the trainees work hard to survive the training.
The key question the producer addresses is whether or not it is possible for the main characters to become cold killing machines always hoping for war past their training. In the movie, Hartman tells the recruits that the training aims to make them weapons. The movie takes the audience through the various training techniques used by Hartman and the humiliation endured by the trainees to make them cold killing machines in the end. The main information that the producer passes is that it is hard to train humans to become killing machines as the main character despite passing the test only participates in the Vietnam War as a journalist.
The producer takes for granted the fact that one of the trainees, Private Pyles, loses his mind and ends up killing a sergeant. This is important to the story as it admirably demonstrates the loss of identity. The main conclusion of the movie is that the training soldiers receive to prepare them for war is of dehumanizing nature. Thus many people assume that the film is an anti-war film. The film-maker’s division of the film into two parts, however, shows that the film is about much more than war. The main point presented by the filmmaker is that the world can bully someone into something they are not as seen with Private Pyle. However, if one has a strong will to maintain their identity like Private Joker, bullying will have minimal effects on their identity.