I was a bit surprised that this movie won so many Oscar awards in 2010, especially when going head to head with Avatar, partly because I didn’t think the movie was that great, and partly because the movie came out in 2008!!!
As it turns out, as an independent movie not released in the USA in 2008, it was only eligible for the Oscars this year, and in that time, it had developed quite a cult following.
So I decided to watch it again, having last seen it about a year ago. Although, again, I didn’t think it was that great a film, the thing that struck me this time, was how different the story telling was from a normal war or Hollywood movie. Its almost a fly on the wall documentary or reality show, with believable characters and understated heroism. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t pay too much attention at the first showing.
There is no real beginning or end. There seems to be the hint of an evil mastermind behind the bomb making, and that might be where the film is heading, but like the real war, there are so many different things going on that there is no clear focus. Eventually, there is no climax, and like the real war, tomorrow is just another day.
The lead character is an enigma. Almost an anti hero. He is calm yet reckless. Proficient but unprofessional. His actions make you cringe, but at times you admire him.
Either way, for anyone interested in the military, it is a must see movie, in a completely different way to Saving Private Ryan, but just as realistic.