Wednesday, March 17, 2010
It’s an honour to review The Hurt Locker as the first at this blog.
Before I get going with it, I just want to say that I am not an authority on Cinema or art of any kind. I am just someone who is giving her opinion. And the opinion is my own PoV. You may not agree with my interpretation of the movie. I have a distinct like/dislike when it comes to art, so be ready for some unexpected reviews in future :)
Genre : War
Director : Kathryn Bigelow
Cast : Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty
Tagline (my favs) :
You’ll know when you are in it.
You don't have to be a hero to do this job. But it helps.
The movie is based on the best selling novel - War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges. The opening screen of the movie has a line from the same novel.
My take on the movie :
If you are looking for something in the line of Saving Private Ryan, then this is not the one who should watch. Both are war movies, but The Hurt Locker is very different. And for the sake of comparing, even though Saving Private Ryan didn’t win the Best Pic Oscar (can u blv it?) and Hurt Locker did, SPR is miles ahead of Hurt Locker.
The movie is not 100% right in its portrayal of how the army works in a war zone like Iraq. There are instances when it becomes almost absurd. But an average guy watching the movie won’t notice. Simply because he won’t know how the real thing works. Folks close to army might feel some discomfort. Still, giving the screenplay writer and director some benefit of artistic liberty is totally justified.
There are not too many war movies that are directed by women. At the first sight, you are going to be amazed at the rawness of the images. The movie is in-your-face. It has a no nonsense approach. Still, when you look carefully, you can see a woman’s touch.
I don’t wanna sound sexist, but women handle vulnerability a bit better than most men. Hurt Locker, in its heart, as its name signifies, is all about the devastation caused by war. More to the soul than to the body. It makes a killer out of a reluctant soldier. Scares the one who was dedicated... and worst of all, makes a nice human addicted to the carnage.
Hurt Locker makes you pause and think... makes you wonder if we are really looking for an excuse to kill ourselves.
Warning : Here be Spoilers.
The movie is basically about an EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) team working under the Bravo Company in present day Iraq, on its one year rotation. The movie is shot in almost a documentary style in the start. It’s unbelievable to imagine that they actually shot 100 minutes of footage for each minute they used in the movie. Guys, that’s more than even Apocalypse Now! You see what war and inhuman stress of dealing with death does to these guys.
The movie has a cold start (direct into action, without any preamble). It opens in a meat market in Iraq where the Original EOD Team has been called to diffuse and IED (Improvised explosive Device). It’s a symbol of cheapness of human life and sets the mood for the movie. The Bomb expert of the team is killed while trying to diffuse the IED
The new guy who joins as the bomb expert is a hero but a rather reckless man. He takes unnecessary risks. Yet, he has another side to his personality. He is not a brutal warmonger. War is just something that he is addicted to. He lives on raw adrenaline rushing through his blood.
The movie is built mostly around him and his two team-mates. They constantly fight death and live in a world where every step can be their last.
Scenes to watch for : The original Bomb expert of the EOD team, Matt Thompson, is played by Guy Pearce (yes, the Memento guy). The explosion of the same IED kills him. The scene of explosion is awesomely captured in super slo-mo. You can see the rust and dirt coming off the car, gravel rise up defying gravity and then the full force of the blast simply rips the air around.
The scene right after has Thompson's things being packed in a box. A solder asks – Is that everything? The line has profound meaning. A life packed in a small box.
There is a scene where the new bomb expert (William James, played by Jeremy Renner) first goes with the Bravo Company. The moment he pulls out 6 interlinked IEDs from the rubble is something that makes your heart stop (check the image attached to this review).
Another hard hitting scene is the one where he risks his life trying to diffuse a bomb implanted inside the dead body of a child.
watch out for the a special appearance by Ralph Fiennes.
My rating : 4 out of 5
The Hurt Locker Trivia
PS: I know its bit long. But I wanted to be honest with an honest movie :) I have kept the plotline shorter to stop it from becoming too long!