The Hurt Locker

“The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug.”

Very seldom i see a movie that leaves me completely speechless. And i just sit there, thru the ending credits in awe / shock / amazement of what i had just seen. The Shawshank Redemption was one – and now i have found another one – ‘The Hurt Locker’

The movie follows a three member ‘Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD)’ team of the US Army based in Iraq. There job, is to dispose/disarm bombs left around by militants. The movie starts with the death of the Team Leader (the guy who actually disarms the bomb) – and the introduction of a new one – a completely maverick, fearless, adrenaline seeking guy – who goes about his job, doing it the best way he can – ‘by not getting killed’. His ways are much too annoying for his fellow team members – who’s job is to keep him alive while he goes about his job – by looking out for snipers, or guys who could detonate the bomb he is detonating.

What makes the movie awesome – is the pinpoint accuracy in mapping the disorienting roads that a man can walk when he is so close to death. The characters are not just over-hyped highly decorated and awesomely brave guys – but Real, deeply emotional, damaged, and admirably courageous men.  The movie tracks down less than a month of their duty left – and how they just want to get thru them – While  Sgt. James (the maverick one) – kinduv holds no respect for SOP’s while he goes down AWOL disposing off bombs – even removing his headset, and safety suit at times (‘if im gonna die, i might as well die comfortable’). The defining point of the movie is when the team discovers the body of a dead boy – which has been surgically converted into a ‘body bomb’. Thats when the true ’emotional’ side of Sgt. James comes out. Watch it.

Another thing that seperates this movie from others of its kind, is the lack of gazzillions of characters – which we always end up seeing in war movies. This one concentrates on three. Thats it. And it makes sure, u know them.

Technically – it is fantastic. The way it captures the life of these guys in the dessert – i havent seen any other movie come close. You can actually feel the heat. You can feel the disorientation. Watch the sniper scene – you will know what i mean. Yes there is blood – yes there is gore. But then, this is a war movie. And if you cant show it real, might as well not show it. The movie was apparently shot in Jordan, just miles away from the Iraqi border – sometimes as close as three miles – and the men actually lived in Army conditions. There were no air conditioned vans and no other extra comforts. And it shows.

Acting by all three guys is brilliant. Jeremy Renner as Sgt. James is just fantastic – havent seen him or heard of him before, but im sure this performance is gonna make him one popular guy. Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty are also fantastic as Sgt. Sanborn and Specialist Eldridge. The movie is directed by Kathryn Bigelow – who happens to be the ex-wife of James Cameron.

My say – This movie should get the oscars for both Best Director, and Best Movie for 2009. But i know that wouldnt happen. There also is ‘Avatar’ as a contender (James Cameron vs. Ex wife!!). All respect to Avatar for all the technology, and the beautiful imagery. But – purely movie wise – The Hurt Locker is a much much better film. I know that it would be difficult for it to bag the Best Movie – considering the big budget and bigger profits for Avatar – but at least the Best Director has to go to Kathryn Bigelow.

Go watch it. It is worth it.

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