Who Would Love This Movie: People who like realistic war movies
Best Mood to Walk In With: Calm
Don't See This Movie If: People who want to see glammed up war movies or action movies
Although it is not my kind of movie, I was still able to recognize that The Hurt Locker was brilliant. After hearing amazing things about it from people I trust and reading stellar reviews, a buddy and I drove to Atlanta to see this movie since it wasn't playing in Athens. After glammed up war movies like The Kingdom or Valkyrie, this film mixes things up by relying on a raw, realistic script where the war itself is secondary to the individual days a soldier lives through.
The plot and acting are gripping and most scenes had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Although there were explosions since the main characters are bomb and explosive technicians, these are explosions like what you see on CNN and not the CGI kind seen in Transformers. Because of this realistic portrayal, I felt much more vested in the lives of the characters and their motivation for doing what they do. Yes, the actors executed the script well, but in my opinion the credit for such an outstanding film belongs mostly to two people, Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow.
Boal wrote the very compellingly script that unfolds the way an octagon rolls. You never quite know where it is going, but you know it is going somewhere so you keep watching. In the end, you see how each part makes sense in the whole and, through this, discover very believable motivations for the characters' past actions. I especially appreciate how you learn about both the situation and the characters by watching what the characters DO than by listening to what they say. This demonstrates both the artful writing of the screenplay and the successful delivery by the actors.
As progressive as I believe myself to be, I must admit I was blown away that such a raw, strong, realistic movie about the war in Iraq was directed by a woman. For some reason, films such as this reek masculinity to a society with divided gender standards. But as a European movie magazine wrote, "sometimes it takes a woman to make a man's movie." Perhaps my surprise at there being a woman at the helm is due to the fact that I do not think this film will appeal to many women. Certainly, it is not one that falls in my category of favorites, though I can certainly appreciate its superb storytelling. For me it is much easier to watch a glossed up Hollywood war flick with big explosions and teary moral endings than it is to watch one that honestly portrays how life is not fair and that some people have to deal with that fact more than others.
Keep Your Eyes Closed For: For those of you with weak stomachs, it was difficult for me to watch the scene with the corpse.
Keep Your Eyes Open For: The scene in the grocery store cereal aisle was nice cinematography and color, good plot and character development, and humorous all at once.
All in all, The Hurt Locker is for a minority of movie goers, but if you are in that group you will incredibly appreciate this impacting and honest film.
Movies Are Life. ~ K
Reading List February – May
6 months ago