The Hurt Locker (2008)
Premiering at the Venice Film Festival in September 2008 where it won several awards, the film is director Kathryn Bigelow’s finest to date. Also the director of Near Dark (1987) Point Break (1991) and Strange Days (1995), Bigelow consistently injects her influence into areas often relegated to men alone.
The film was shot quite near to the Iraq border in Amman, Jordan under temperatures averaging 115 degrees Fahrenheit. It is based on the experiences of freelance journalist, Mark Boal, who was embedded with a US bomb squad in Baghdad in 2004.
The eloquent quote opening the film that illustrates war as a drug comes from Chris Hedges’ book, War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. Although the quote is not enough to encapsulate all the differing motivations for being at war, it draws attention to war as the unconscious psychological inverse of civil-ization. The title of the film, The Hurt Locker, is military slang for the place where pain resides, or more generally, for tough times.
The Hurt Locker is not a polemical film. It doesn’t take sides or delve deeply into politics. It attempts the soldier’s perspective. The use of unknown actors in primary roles allows the audience to forego any preconceived notions and targets the focus where the director has intended it, that is, on the soldiers as human beings.
- Story A-
- Acting A
- Visuals A
- Originality/Innovation A-
- Enjoyability A
- Overall A-