Verdict: A thought-provoking film with convincing performances.
"In War, the first casualty is Truth."
Directed by South African film maker Gavin Hood, Eye In The Sky is not a war film that conforms to the conventional definition of the genre. The film revolves around drone warfare and its perils. Based on a single act and its ramifications, it focuses on the consequences of modern warfare on human conscience.
The film opens on a family in Nairobi – young Alia's mother is seen baking bread and Alia (Aisha Takow) displaying her knack for the hula hoop. One day, as the 8-year old girl goes to the market to sell her mother's freshly baked bread, she becomes the subject of an international debate.
The plot being fairly simple, centres on the quest of Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren). It is with the support of British Lieutenant General Frank Benson (Late Alan Rickman) that she puts together Operation Cobra. Her command is a drone operation to capture a British citizen turned terrorist, who has been on the run for six years. This leads to a shock for Powell, when it is discovered that a suicide bombing mission is to take place. When a life-or-death situation arises, indecisive officials wary of being held responsible for collateral damage, repeatedly "refer up".
The writer, Guy Hibbert, has mastered the art of weaving together the moments in the UK, the skies of the US and the grounds of Kenya. Displaying the morality of the characters, we have on one side a group of individuals who want to carry out a drone strike as a counter-terrorism initiative, and on the other hand a group of people who do not want to risk civilian lives for military gain. Although the film is essentially somber, it brings with it a breeze of comedy to relieve moments of tension.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Apart from being different from other war films, Eye In The Sky is an illustration of world issues and warfare backed by performances that are top notch! Plus, it is Alan Rickman's last screen appearance, and one worthy of that mark.