Hurt Locker

If you have ever witnessed the depiction of war on celluloid before, you ll appreciate that it can be an immense aesthetic undertaking, illustrating humanity in its most extreme state. One woman understands this perhaps more than any other man or film-maker, Kathryn Bigelow, who first demonstrated her cinematic abilities with the cult hit that was 1991 s Point Break and further cemented her reputation with the oddly hypnotizing 1995 s Strange Days has since left behind such turkeys as 2002 s suspicious K-19: The Widowmaker and invented greener pastures with her 2009 swan song .

The Hurt Locker has since been nominated for nine academy awards including best picture and best director , it began its awesome trajectory with the Venice Film Festival and secured world-wide attention with 2009 s Toronto s International Film Festival and ever since, Bigelow s investigation into the searing heat and darkness of modern warfare has perpetuated momentum and critical acclaim from every corner of the globe. The 21st century s principal conflicts with the Middle East have risen as a worthy genre of film in its own right with notable depictions such as Robert Reford s 2007 Lions for Lambs, Marc Foster s 2007 s The Kite Runner, Stephen Gaghan s 2005 s Syriana, Ari Folman s 2008 s Waltz in Bashir, Ridley Scott s 2001 Black Hawk Down, Paul Haggis s 2007 s Valley of Elah, Peter Berg s 2007 s The Kingdom and HBO s 2008 epic production of Generation Kill.

However, no film or television so far has truly attempted to smash the politically correct boundaries of a post 9/11 state of mind other than The Hurt Locker . Bigelow has assembled a truly magnificent cast with the likes of Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes but most notably a career changing ,stand-out performance from Jeremy Renner as Sergeant William James, the team leader of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit in a post-invasion 2004 Iraq, where guerilla warfare of the most savage kind breeds. The film follows James and his team on their minute to minute attempts to try and assemble some order into a burnt land of chaos, risking their life with every breath as passing bullets, chemical weapons and explosions become as normal as passing traffic, where blood becomes sand as quick as you turn your head.

The films tag line is taken from war correspondent and journalist Chris Hedges 2002 best-seller War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning in which he shouts "The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug." Bigelow s film is an attempt to show this statement as fact, as she does a incredibly convincing job of it, The horrors of warfare have been digested by such great directors as Francis Ford Coppola, Oliver Stone, Stanley Kubrick, Michael Cimino and so on throughout the ages, but this is the first refreshing display that shows no mercy, The Hurt Locker is brave, controversial, disgusting, savage, intelligent and ultimately compelling. Furthermore, it has to its benefit a contemporary relevance within modern society as the Middle Eastern conflict is ongoing.   If film is art and therefore art is an attempt of contemplation, this is Bigelow s and with it the modern consciousnesses attempt to break free from the numbness and ineptitude of apathy, and an attempt to force us to deal with what we are seeing.

The Hurt Locker will not let you feel safe or comfortable for one second, it is devised to make you scared that humanity is capable of such things, and with its strong anchor in realism, the statements the film makes could not be more frighteningly relevant or potent. Jeremy Renner s performance especially is Oscar- worthy, as he plays arguably the most audacious psycho in modern times or perhaps the most humane candidate in an unjust war, the decision lies with the viewer, but beware as The Hurt Locker is designed to pack a punch, this isn t your average Friday night flick, this is a exploration of evil, madness and the decline of civilization as we know it or perhaps of how it has always been.

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