Saturday, February 27, 2010
The Hurt Locker
This is any movie lover's busy time of the year, almost like Christmas. I'm rushing to make time to see as many Oscar nominated movies as possible before the big day! Well, I saw 'The Hurt Locker' last night. From the moment it begins, it's unrelenting and confronting. The story follows a crack Army bomb squad unit Bravo Company on it's daily tasks of finding and defusing bombs in Iraq. It's the last month of the team's tour and the surviving members, SGT Sanborn and SPc Owen Eldridge are just trying to get through the days. Eldridge in particular is finding it particularly difficult to reconcile being in Iraq in these horrific, stressful circumstances. If it sounds a little groundless, have no fear, Director Kathryn Bigelow knows exactly where she's going with this film. A new, talented and extremely cocky maverick, SSG William James (relative newcomer Jeremy Renner) joins the team, and his relationships with his colleagues change all of their lives forever. This movie could easily have spiralled into cliche and predictability but it's extremely well rounded. The actors are, without exception, superb. There are small parts for the commanding presence of Guy Pearce and the impossibly blue-eyed talent of Ralph Fiennes. Jeremy Renner gives a complexity and amiability to a difficult character. The thrill and terror he seeks and gains from his job is palpable. The danger he puts himself and others in is sometimes laughable but foolhardy. The whole film is surrounded by menace and heat, you can smell it. My heart was racing through most of the time and you are constantly looking out, on the soldiers behalf, for snipers and danger. The scenarios just seem to get worse and worse and when you think that humanity can't go any lower, something else pops up to shock. This must only give a miniscule insight into what the soldiers have to deal with and boy, is it an eyeopener. Is it pumped full of testosterone? Of course it is. That is the type of person this film deals with, and they are keeping people safe. It's confronting, but doesn't judge. This is not a political film by any means. There is no glorification, nor is there bleeding hearts. It's a film about warring men and their struggles, sometimes with how much they enjoy the life, which makes it all the more real and human. The cinematogrophy is wonderful, I was a little dubious because I knew some of it was filmed on hand held camera and that usually makes me feel like I've spent 6 months on a leaky boat. The film is far too professional though, and my fears were allayed when I had not one queasy moment. There is little music thankfully and what there is is put to good use. I can't imagine what it must be like over there. If it looks like hell, and sounds like hell, surely it must be hell. The subtle scenes of homelife make this film a stand apart from other war films. I get what all the fuss is about. I think Mr Cameron needs to steel himself. THE HURT LOCKER: Bigelow has this locker's combination all worked out. Lest We Forget. 8/10.