Pearl Harbor Movie Review

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Sometimes during our lives, we happen to meet individuals and do not immediately realize how important they will become in our lives. For example, when you meet someone at the doctor’s office, initially you do not think anything of it, but for some, this meet and greet continues to evolve into a first date, and can even advance into falling in love. The example provided is like the situation in the movie, Pearl Harbor. During Pearl Harbor, we see the challenges that are faced with Captain Rafe McCawley and Nurse Lieutenant Evelyn Johnson as well as Rafe’s best friend Captain Danny Walker when Rafe “comes back from the dead.”

In the beginning of Pearl Harbor, the producers reveal Rafe McCawley and Danny Walker joyfully playing together as children and pretending they are pilots. They happen to jump into Rafe’s father’s biplane and accidentally start the engine. Fortunately, Rafe stops the plane and the two jump out with excitement exclaiming they flew for the first time and are officially pilots! If we fast forward about ten years later, Rafe and Danny remain best of friends and both join the Air Force as lieutenants under the same commander.

During a medical examination, Nurse Lieutenant Evelyn Johnson perform an eye examination on Rafe, who struggles with identifying the letters due to his dyslexia (“…a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words…”) (Dyslexia, 2017). Although he continues to struggle though the examination, Evelyn decides to pass his examination, due to him being handsome, as we later find out. Rafe finds Evelyn afterwards as she is walking out of work and asks to celebrate with her for allowing him to pass the examination despite his difficulties.

Over the next four weeks, they continue to spend time with one another, slowing falling in love. However, one evening as they are dancing the night away at a nightclub with other friends, he pulls her aside and informs her of his acceptance to the Eagle Squadron, a special unit of the Air Force who fights the Battle of Britain, and he would be leaving the next morning. Although this initially possesses a dilemma for Rafe and Evelyn, he explains all his hopes and dreams of being the best pilot, and this decision is what he always dreamed of. With this, Evelyn submits and allows Rafe to follow his dream, ensuring Rafe she would be waiting for him when he gets back. As he his sent to battle, his best friend Danny stays behind and is put in charge to tell Evelyn if anything ever happens to Rafe.

During the next few months, Evelyn continues her work as a nurse caring for multiple soldiers when they become injured. One afternoon, Danny shows up to the hospital in full uniform to inform her about Rafe’s plane being shot down in battle and he would be not be returning. Danny continues to comfort her in her time of need, and after multiple months pass the two end up falling in love. Eventually, Evelyn finds out she is pregnant, but the same evening Rafe makes his return home. Ultimately, this is a major turning point in the film as Rafe is still completely in love with Evelyn; however, she believed he was dead, so she healed herself and moved on to Danny. Rafe realizes this as Danny comes outside to check on Evelyn.

The realization of the love of your life moving on and beginning a new life would be difficult for anyone. However, realizing that your love of your life moved on to your best friend is even harder to comprehend. Not only is this a major issue with Rafe and Danny, but ultimately with Evelyn as she realizes her first love is not dead, but still alive and waiting for her, yet she is now pregnant with Danny’s child.

Evelyn ends up sitting down with Rafe, where he tries to figure out whether they are still together or if she chooses Danny now. However, since she has been moved on, she regretfully tells Rafe she owes it to Danny to be the very best for him. Rafe and Danny end up getting into a fight at a bar, but after security arrives, they escape together where they can talk it out. Danny explains to Rafe that Evelyn and he could not control it, but it just happened. As stated before, the symptoms of love include “…a feeling of defenselessness, due to a loss of control in the face of such a strong experience” (Cruces, Hawrylak & Delegido, 2015, p. 87). This explains why Evelyn and Danny could not help but to fall for one another, as they both mourned the “death” of their best friend and experienced this traumatizing event alongside each other.

It is important to note, however, that Evelyn’s love with Rafe and Danny were two completely different types of love. For Rafe, the type of love they shared was called eros love which is, “passionate love that starts suddenly and with a strong physical attraction” (Cruces et al., 2015, p. 88). On the other hand, the love Evelyn and Danny shared was storge love defined by, “the love felt by companions, based on trust and security between two people with similar values” (Cruces et al., 2015, p. 88). Neither Danny or Evelyn intentionally tried to fall for one another, however they trusted one another and felt safe alongside each other, which allowed them to unintentionally create intimate feelings. This also helped Evelyn with her decision to stay with Danny instead because she had already committed herself to him.

The movie, Pearl Harbor, has quite a few heart tugging moments, however the decisions made by Evelyn shows her true love for both Rafe and Danny and her commitment to both men. Evelyn’s choices prove her honest and pure intentions with both men and she makes sure to stand-by her own values throughout the entire movie.


Cite this paper

Pearl Harbor Movie Review. (2021, Jun 24). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/pearl-harbor-movie-review/



How historically accurate is the movie Pearl Harbor?
The movie is not entirely accurate, as it takes some liberties with the events that transpired. However, it is generally considered to be a fairly accurate representation of what happened.
Is Pearl Harbour a good movie?
No, Pearl Harbour is not a good movie. It is historically inaccurate and the love story is not believable.
What's the best movie about Pearl Harbor?
The best movie about Pearl Harbor is "Pearl Harbor." It is a classic film that tells the story of the attack on Pearl Harbor from the perspective of the soldiers who were there.
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