Thursday, January 28, 2010

Movie Monday on Thursday: The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker is definitely the best film depicting the Iraq War. What makes it watchable is the lack of political commentary on the war. Instead, it focuses on three men in the high stress job of disposing IEDs. For me, the idea of being assigned the job of disarming a device that could blow you to bits at the slightest mistake is mind boggling. I have nothing but respect for the soldiers that pursue this career. One soldier is full of doubt about his inaction that caused the death of their former team leader, as well as dealing with the fear of dying himself. One soldier is professional and by the book, not taking risk, but doing his duty, he wants to get home, but doesn’t know why. The final soldier, the team lead and bomb disposal specialist, Will James, has the most to go home to, with a wife and child, but seems to be the most reckless. The director creates tactical situations that present multiple layers of drama. Ever present is the bomb that may or may not explode, while the team members struggle to work with each other, each having different values.
I have been listening to public service announcements about veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan and how they and their families have a hard time adjusting. My heart breaks every time I hear the adds. WARNING: SPOILER ALERT Towards the end of the movie, you see the bomb specialist, James, return home. His wife is beautiful and his young son is cute and adoring. He has everything you could want to live for after a war, but he finds himself removed and despondent. James is in his sons room playing with him. The child, maybe one year old, is just acting cute, laughing and smiling while his Dad plays with him. James begins to speak to his son’s joy by saying that when he gets to be his age, he won’t find things like a jack n the box fun. He will look at it like a piece of tin. He will find that he is only able to love 1 or 2 things, implying he could only love his wife and son, or maybe just his son. The he says maybe he can only love one thing, which you are led to believe is his son. The next scene, however, you see Will James disembarking from a helicopter back in Iraq to work on bomb disposal. You realize that despite the danger, it is the one thing he loves, which alludes to the opening that says war is a drug. Very sad, very good movie.

1 comment:

Troy said...

I took the one thing he loved to be the rush of the bomb squad. I agree - great movie. Again, Best scene is at the helecopter and mentioning of his shattered leg. Not for the content as much as the director's climatic point.