Friday, January 22, 2010

The Hurt Locker

I watched The Hurt Locker on DVD a couple of days ago, and I'm glad I did. I'm glad I saw the movie because it is fantastic. And I'm glad I saw it on DVD because it was so damn stressful I had to keep turning it off to recover.

If you do not know, this is a movie about a bomb squad in Iraq, Bravo Company. Before each mission, you see a caption explaining how many more days team Bravo has in its rotation, starting at (I believe) 36. Just over a month and they get to go home. If they manage to get through the next bomb. And the next one.

One of the things I loved about this movie is that it conveyed how confusing the situation on the ground is. Gradually, people gather to watch the bomb squad do their work; is one of them the bomber? Which one? How can you tell? There's no clear-cut movie villain. The ticking time bomb is firmly in place, but there's no way to know who to torture to get the information on where it is or who put it there.

And the characters are so clear and distinct. There's not a lot of dialogue and you don't need it to know what's going on in people's heads They are three-dimensional, not simply good or bad, but a mix of things. Human, in other words.

There's lots of silence, very little in the way of dramatic music, not much to tell you what you ought to do or how you ought to feel. It's a movie that makes you work a little. It's worth the work.

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