Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lions for lambs

AOG, MadridRobert Redford's new movie seems to draw a slight parallel with Alejandro González Iñárritu's Babel. Both films share a triangular storyline which is drawn to a centrifuge by a common thread.

It is certainly beautifully filmed, the SX are good enough, and the plot, or plots, are nihilistic which is a welcome change in American cinema. Well, not all plots, this is an American film after all, and, although we are not served a happy ending on a platter, we are instead given a slice of hope, which is very much in line with the movie's feel.

A political story, it seems to reflect current thinking in the US regarding America's War on Terror campaign. If the film is to be seen as a catalyst for America's pulse, then we can assume that the end of the NeoCons is near, and that enough people have begun to question the status quo vis a vis the country's complacency with the post 9-11 world and recent propaganda.

Tom Cruise plays a character who is close to his last bad-guy character in Collateral. He is well in his way to becoming the next Mel Gibson or Kevin Costner. Strong, single minded, and with projection and aspirations, he fits the job description rather well.

Meryl Streep is surprisingly good as a journalist who has a sudden turn of heart. I say surprising, because the character is a feeble yet intelligent woman who finds herself enmeshed in a moral dilemma. Although the character is not beyond Streep's acting capabilities, she does an amazing turn with it and comes up trumps. Once again she proves what an amazing acting range she has and we are grateful for it.

Robert Redford, who also directs the film, is very middle ground in this film. A combination of Robin Williams in Dead Poet's Society and Sean Connery in Finding Forrester, he comes across as slightly lost in the character. It lives in his head, but he does not fully bring it out.

We are never fully aware of his motives, only of the fact that he feels he has failed somewhere along the line, though neither he, nor us, get to find out why. Special mention must go to his eyebrows which for some odd reason are dyed a darker shade than the rest of his hair.

All in all, the movie will probably be nominated and win an Oscar or two, and it will be well deserved. You will not be bored and, surprise surprise, it may even make you think.

If nothing else, it will help many to think about the current political situation in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the US.

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