Monday, March 1, 2010

THE HURT LOCKER

Geoff asked me to post my reasons for liking THE HURT LOCKER, so here goes.

1. I was in awe of the film's ability to create and sustain suspense. As a writer I'm always interested in how to accomplish this. Frankly, the lessons of film don't always generalize to the printed page. I suspect camera work had A LOT to do with generating tension, but still. The sense of conflict was so real and urgent, it left me breathless.

2. I cared about the characters. Would they survive? Would they survive with body parts and humanity intact?

3. I think I better understand how it must feel to be there in the thick of action, which gave me a renewed sense of respect for our servicemen, including my daughter-in-law's father, who was in Baghdad for nine months. THE HURT LOCKER doesn't have any political message. Our decision to be in the Middle East--for good or bad--isn't the point. The point is what it FEELS like to be there. To this end, the film is graphic. Lots of real bombs. Lots of f-bombs. And that's exactly the kind of thing that folks get their undies in a twist about. But do you know what? I don't think any of it was gratuitous. And the film would NOT have been anywhere near as effective without the gritty look and language.

4. And because I'm shallow, I liked the full hit of testosterone I got while watching it. Which is one of the points of the movie, actually--how that rush of adrenalin one feels in the face of danger can be its own form of addiction.

Anyway. Wow. I'm glad I watched it.

4 comments:

Lisa B. said...

I think you nailed all of it. For another version of this, but focusing on the at-home part of the story, see Stop-Loss. It will absolutely break your heart.

I thought this was a splendid movie, and one thing I loved about it is that its politics were organic--completely rooted in its representation of those characters. I think it is a beautifully made, almost perfect film. I LOVED IT. And you described what makes it awesome so exactly.

LucindaF said...

I can barely walk today. My under-dressings are so ill-shaped.
Thanks a lot.

thesixthseason said...

I haven't seen this film yet, but I remember similar feelings when I watched SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. We were in Hawaii and had spent the day at Pearl Harbor and the Punch Bowl. I'll never forget being stabbed in my heart when the "boys" called out for their moms as they lay dying. Because I'm the mother of 4 boys, it hit hard.

I think SAVING is more contrived that HURT, but it still taught me much. rbs

thesixthseason said...

I haven't seen this film yet, but I remember similar feelings when I watched SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. We were in Hawaii and had spent the day at Pearl Harbor and the Punch Bowl. I'll never forget being stabbed in my heart when the "boys" called out for their moms as they lay dying. Because I'm the mother of 4 boys, it hit hard.

I think SAVING is more contrived that HURT, but it still taught me much. rbs