A Marine Story is a story about a marine officer who is asked to prepare a girl for military boot camp. The girl, Saffron (Paris Pickard,) is in trouble with the law and they give her the choice between the military and going to jail. The officer, Alexandra (Dreya Weber) decides to take on the challenge. Alexandra comes from a family of military men and when she returns to her hometown, she's seen as a bit of a badass to say the least.
What no one knows in her hometown is she was discharged based on the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. For those who don't know what that is, it's a military policy that was in effect until September 20, 2011. Since A Marine Story was released in 2010 the policy was still in effect. The movie does a wonderful job of bringing it to light. What did the policy do though?
It prohibited gays, lesbians and bisexuals from enlisting (or serving openly). Basically it had a nasty habit of forcing members of the LGBT members into the closet rather harshly. A Marine Story portrays the trauma that could potentially be caused by making someone so ashamed of their sexual orientation.
That being said, the policy isn't the only thing the movie conveys. Saffron Snow, the troubled young woman who Alexandra readies for bootcamp, hides her emotions through an attitude. She's in with a bad crowd, and over the course of the movie the audience can watch her mature. Eventually, the bad crowd catches up with both Saffron and Alex in ways for which they were unprepared. They have to save each other.
The movie does a wonderful job of portraying the struggle the LGBT community can go through without focusing solely on that plot point. That's important to note because it is simply a sexual orientation. There are so many different facets to each individual's personality and reducing a person to who they are attracted to is pretty rude. At the same time, the struggles cannot be ignored. There IS prejudice, discrimination and, sometimes, trauma. We have come a long way but we aren't past the point where that happens. A Marine Story deals with that by appealing to the emotions of the audience to help them understand better.
All in all, it's a wonderful movie to watch. Even if you aren't LGBT, it's a lovely story to witness. The plot doesn't center around the issue, although it contributes. I highly recommend it. Finally, check out the trailer, which I admit doesn't tell the story you'd think it would. On the other hand, the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy was a policy based on secrets. Perhaps the trailer is meant to evoke THAT.
What about you? Have you seen A Marine Story? What did you think? If you haven't, do you plan on watching it now? Tell me in the comments!