It is 11.35 pm and the film has just ended. It has left me numb. No judgments. It is 11.43 pm and I am still walking towards the bus stop. I am still numb. I can still hear my heavy breathing. It is 12.14 am now. I have just reached home and I feel safe.
If you give me a word to describe this film, then I will say spectacular.
The Hurt Locker does not talk about the American occupation in Iraq. Neither about the oil diplomacy. It does not even mention Bush, Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, who decided to bomb Iraq. It is the story of three other Americans who are a bomb squad on missions to disarm bombs planted by the insurgents. There is no background score to influence your visuals. On every mission, you will only hear the co-ordination between the specialist and the two soldiers. There are no hoax calls or time wasters. You are made to feel part of every mission and you will not want any bomb to go off.
Jeremy Renner plays Sgt. William James as the bomb specialist. He needs that adrenaline rush every time he is sent out. He does not want to think about what ifs. On the other hand, the two soldiers covering the specialist from any enemy fire are no doubt courageous, but do want to get out of the danger spot as soon as possible. They are played by Anthony Mackie as Sgt. JT Sanborn and Brian Geraghty as Spc. Owen Eldridge. Prior to this I have only seen one film of Jeremy Renner. This helped me see the trio as only a squad and not as any renowned actors playing a squad. There are also several cameos in the film, which I felt they could have done without and probably shortened the film by ten minutes.
You might be following your national news regularly, which dedicates few seconds or a minute of its air time on the bombs going off on Iraqi streets, the death toll, and the instability there. Now you have a film on it, which shows everything that the news leaves out. Reaching to this microscopic level, by blanketing every political aspect and military superior-subordination aspects out, any viewer will be able to relate to this film.
A suggestion, see the film alone. You sure do not want to be distracted on the missions.
By Janak Samtani