Monday, March 28, 2011

Green Zone (Paul Greengrass)

Miller, not Bourne.

Whether you are a 'Bourne' fan or not, it's almost impossible to look forward to watching "Green Zone" without even the slightest inclination of at least expecting an 'Iraq' war deviation of the famous spy franchise, especially with its last two film's director and 'shaky' cam master Paul Greengrass on the helm and Matt Damon as the lead.

I have to say that although the epileptic cinematography will never be denied of its place in the film, "Green Zone" has surprisingly focused more on the complexity of its story and the scope of its intrigue rather than the simple pleasures of some formulaic action sequences. The film's premise is mainly about the supposed 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' hidden and secretly created by Saddam Hussein, the fear and the symbol of ultimate villainy that it has created to distort the minds and perception of a world searching for someone to ultimately blame for the 9/11 attacks (stupid) and to model a tailor-made foe for a United States government hungry for war and profit (stupider).

Matt Damon plays a heroic soldier tired of all the red tapes, bent on disproving the idea of a 'weapon' said to be buried somewhere underneath the ruins of Iraq, and also to answer puzzling questions of his own about a reality where patriotic ideologies are being bastardized and compromised for the sake of saving faces and preserving images.

Greg Kinnear and Brendan Gleeson were both good in supporting roles that although look familiar and feel like cliched staples of political thriller films, carried the characters with some sort of short-tempered intensity and momentary urgency scene after scene, as if the current line they deliver is more important than the last. No redundant and unnecessary beatings around the 'bush' (no pun intended). With less than 1 and a half hours for exposition (I estimate the other 30 minutes to be dedicated to obligatory action sequences), the film's screenplay has proven itself as very tightly written and effectively compact.

The Vietnam War has always been criticized primarily because America's unsolicited intervention was a bit shallow in its justification. It also caused a lot of 'misplaced aggression'.

The War in Iraq can also be classified with the same deficiencies, although I think it's a bit 'deconstructive' (as if it served as a slight euphemism) in its approach: destroyed the common, accepted notions of war and instead relied on the unpredictable ripple effect of an 'illusion'; a big-time trick without reservations and with casualties involved. The deceptive manipulation of the higher ones: the ignobility of war indeed.


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