Monday, December 6, 2010

The Hurt Locker Film Response

        The Hurt Locker was a good movie, if I had to personally rate it, it would be a nine out of ten.  I enjoyed the whole experience, the morals, and the cinematography of the movie, but I disliked that some parts of the movie were slow.  I tend to prefer high action movies, but I appreciated this movie and I could understand how it won the Academy Award in 2010.  The Hurt Locker was directed by  Kathryn Bigelow, and it won the academy award in 2010.  It is about a team of soldiers that defused bombs during the Iraq War.  This movie displayed the hardships, struggles, jubilance, and sorrow of Modern Warfare in modern day society.

 As I have said before the Hurt Locker was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and she was the first female director to win an Academy Award in Best Picture and Best Director.  The movie was made to display the work that Americans face in the modern day battle field of Iraq.  The main characters take part in an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team.  Some thematic threads of the movie are trama, regret, and death, which are all characteristics of war.  For example after Thompson is killed by  the explosive, San Born is seen staring at Thompson's locker with all his possessions.  And another example is when Eldridge shows the therapist that Thompson could be alive if he just pulled the trigger.

        The Hurt Locker is based on accounts of Mark Boal, who was a journalist during the Iraq War.  His goal for the movie was to portray the events of the War in Iraq that one can not see at home on the news because of censorship.  Bigelow was mainly interested with the phsycology that makes a person want to go towards a bomb, when that bomb can kill them in a second.  The actors for this movie were Jeremy Rener (James), Anthony Mackie (Sanborn), and Brian Geraghty (Eldridge).  Bigelow was able to find Iraq refugees in Jordon and cast them into her movie, such as the suicide bomber towards the end.  Casting Iraqies gave the movie a more realistic effect.  The principle photography of the film began in 2007 in Jordan and Kuwait.  Security was a major issue thats why they were unable to filmin Iraq because their security team couldn't garuntee them saftey from snipers.  Bigelow wanted the movie to be as realistic as posible and she wanted somewhere that resembled Baghdad, thats why she choose Jordon and Kuwait.

       I personally enjoyed the cinematography throughout the movie.  For example I liked how they used the camera on the robot in the opening scenes of the moving to give the viewer a POV shot of what the bomb looks like from a robots perspective.  The cinematography was extremely realistic, such as the bomb scene at the beggining of the movie.  The bomb scene also has the red blood of Thompson splattered all over the face of his helmet halfway through his jump as the sonic bomb pushes him through the air.  Bigelow used four 16mm cameras to capture multiple perspectives.  The lighting throughout the movie was relatively excellent.  When the team had to go investigate the car bomb at night I highly dislike the lighting, for my sense of direction became disoriented.  In that scene the soldiers walk off into the dark and the viewers cant see a thing, but that added to the mystery of their embarkment into an unforgiving mission where Eldridge would get shot in the leg.

       I enjoyed the editing in this movie.  The editing was usually fast paced when there was action, such as when James is defusing the bomb at the UN.  The editing was also phenomenal when James and Sanborn were fighting after the sniper battle, and the fast paced cutting displayed the fight scene quiet nicely.  The sniper scene was edited very well, for some of the shots were dragged out for a long period of time to display the suspense of a sniper battle.  When the shell casing dropped after Sanborn fired a lethal shot towards the insurgent displayed just how good the editing was.  The ping as the casing hit the floor allowed us to dwell in the moment and foreshadow that Sanborn had hit his mark.  Although in this scene I did not like how after Sanborn hit the man, the dead man was able to lie out the window.  This is highly unrealistic for the barret 50 cal round traveling around the speed of sound would have pushed the dead man back against the wall.

      The score of the movie was based around the style of a documentary, yet action movie.  There were a lot of POV shots that set up the mood and what the characters were thinking.  Some repeating styles were close ups to display the moods and feelings of each character.  For example at the end when Sanborn is crying and telling James that he cant take being in Iraq any more the close up of him crying allows the emotion to be depicted to the viewer as a high amount of distress and melancholy.  Some syncronization that was used was when Eldridge and Sanborn are trying to kill the man holding the cell phone at the beggining of the movie.  The fast pace syncronization of cuts portrays the urgency to kill the man with the cell phone, before he explodes the bomb that kills Thompson.
        I think that the script was very good, for it displayed the hardships and sorrows of modern warfare in Iraq.  The narritive structure of the movie was to depict the hardships that war has on soldiers in the modern battlefield.  For example movie opens with a quote and all the other letters fade except for the words "war is a drug".   This quote foreshadows how James feels about war, for after he goes home he is not fit for suburbian life.  For James war is a drug, and that is the reason he goes back to serve another 365 defusing bombs.       
      The genre of this film can be many things for it can be a war drama, pshycological, or a thriller.  The war drama genre is determined by the movie, in its whole entire escence pertaining on the life a bomb squad in Iraq.  The film meets the physchological genre, for James somehow loves war and he loves the feeling of being at the edge of life and death.  Bigelow herself was interested in what motivated soldeirs to go "towards the bomb everyone else was running away from".  This movie fits the thriller genre, for the team is always put in life threatening situations.  For example when Eldridge gets captured towards the end of the movie, it is a thrill to see James and Sanborn attempt to rescue Eldridge from the insurgents. 

       Over all this movie was extremely powerful.  One of my favorite moments as seen to the left is when James tells his son that "there are some things in life that you come to love" and for James he loves war.  After this scene when James is seen in a bomb suit on another 365 day tour.  This scene brings the movie in a full circle for to James "War is a drug" that he loves.  This movie portrays the lives of the war well, and even though there are some slow parts the cinematography, acting, set, plot, and special effects make the movie an Acadamey Award winning movie.