Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker, 2008
Directed by Katheryn Bigelow
Nominated for 9 Oscars, won 6.
Synopsis: A new sergeant, Will James, has come to take over a an elite squad of roadside bomb disposal team after their previous sergeant was killed on the job. James is reckless and wild, and very different from their last sergeant. He shows himself to be unafraid and indifferent to life, death, and everything around him, except disarming bombs. His two subordinates, Sanborn (a strong, fierce man) and Eldridge (someone suffering post-traumatic stress after the death of their previous sergeant) are both just trying to adjust and deal with this new, wild, reckless man leading them. But war doesn't leave you indifferent. If anything, it leads you to caring too much, and thus trying not to care.
At least, this is what Ms. Bigelow shows us in her (almost) documentary-style film about bomb disposal soldiers in Iraq.
I settled down to watch this movie with my boyfriend. I was interested in seeing this film. I had watched the first 20 minutes or so in film class, and wondered about the rest of the movie. Being extremely oblivious to war (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc), politics, and the like, I wasn't sure how much of this movie I would understand, or even like.
But I quickly found myself transported into this world that I had no idea existed. I see just exactly how war is affecting everyone. How tricky it is to weed out the citizens you want to help, with the citizens who want to kill you. How much you can't get attached, and how much you have to block out in order to not bleed to death from the hopelessness of it all.
All Oscars it won for the technical side were well-won. Film editing, sound mixing and sound editing. Everything was so rocky and raw and real that I felt like I was there in Iraq, wearing the bomb protection suit, or in the Humvee with them. 
The cinematography was indeed, also, very good. Very shaky, and amateur, but on purpose. To not try to take anything away from what's going on. So you can't put a glamour on what you're seeing. This is real. You also saw so much of what they saw. How many places you have to keep watch over; balcony's, minarets, windows, everything.  All the people who constantly around, and just how poor Baghdad really is.
I really appreciated this movie because even though I wasn't sure exactly what was going on all the time, it didn't dumb down the movie to make it simple for viewers. It threw them into the life of these soldiers, where they weren't beginners. You jumped right in, and there was nothing to introduce you, which I thought was refreshing.
I really enjoyed this film because of the character of Will James. He was a complex character, and I really felt so much sympathy for, not only him, but all of the soldiers. It's just so sad what's going on over there. That war like this is going on.  It really taught me a lot about what's going on in the world, or at least in Iraq, and just how much the American soldiers do. Or how much they suffer, and how much this is affecting them. And just how much we take forgranted here. America, and Canada.

Acting- 8.5/10 
Directing- 8.5/10 
Screenplay- 8/10 
Visuals- 8.5/10 
Music- 7.5/10 
Emotional Connection- 8/10 
Entertainment- 8/10 
Rewatchability- 7.5/10 
Overall Enjoyment- 8/10 
Overall Package- 8/10       

Total: 80.5/100

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