Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Locker Room full of pain

Film reviews are a bit out of my line. I do not get to many actual cinemas and rely on DVD for the home theatre. If asked to rate any especial film, I would be hampered by the fact that I have not seen all the opposition anyway. Hurt Locker came to me as a birthday gift and I cannot say that I would have thought of buying it.

Having run it a couple of times I came to the opinion that it was aimed at the patriotic "Gee Aren't our troops wonderful" element. Nothing wrong with that idea or using it as a hook to gain sales.
Whilst I have no relevant knowledge of what goes on I suspected it to be an imperfect reflection of the dangerous and often deadly mission of the troops who’ve been fighting in Iraq the past seven years. I had seen, as close up as was safe, how our British bomb disposal officers went about their work and could see that some sort of documentary would have very limited appeal. The popular image of ice blood playing on the extreme edge of danger does not really apply. They are well-trained professionals who have good equipment and back-up. This is what allows them to do what they do. My own attitude in the very limited hot situations I was involved in was that my Mother did not raise me just to have me die in Ireland. This kept me just the right side of that slippery slope.

Sure enough, the ones who knew what was what were quick to condemn the way in which their work had been represented. "
"That guy was more of a run and gun cowboy type, and that is exactly the kind of person that we’re not looking for" said Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Phillips, a team leader in Iraq’s eastern Maysan province" The Army has not supported the movie due to inaccurate depictions of Soldiers. "The movie-goer in me thought it was an entertaining movie, the Soldier in me was disappointed by inaccuracies and the inaccurate portrayal" said Lt. Col. Gregory Bishop, Army Public Affairs-West film liaison officer.

Obviously, film scripts have to be written with a slant more towards entertainment than education. The classic 'Brief Encounter' could have been portrayed with just the one scene - "No chance of a quick fu*k then?" would have said it all. But who would pay to see that?

So - critic's hat back on. I cannot see that Hurt Locker was the best film of the year; the industry cannot have failed to produce better and, no - that better was certainly not Avatar either. What it may have done was capture a need for the majority of Americans. With an attitude to war in Afghanistan that is unfavourable and a need to wash away some of the Abu Gharib images, it was a right film for it's time and place. What it did for me was to reinforce my theory that bravery is not very far from stupidity. Die as a result of your conduct and you will be a hero. Do the same thing and survive to face condemnation - stupidity.

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