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The Hurt Locker

Last Sunday I had all the best intentions to go and finally see Martin Ritt’s “The spy that came from the cold”. We did try to make the appropriate bookings online. However, for one reason or other the BFI‘s website was not working properly. Being a nice sunny day (I know, it seems impossible to think about such a thing in London, but it indeed was nice and sunny) we thought that would make sense to go directly to the Southbank, grab a drink by the river and buy the tickets in the old fashion way.

The powers that be made sure that we were not to see Richard Burton playing the other side of the 007 coin. Determined to watch a film after all the effort of coming placed in getting to the Southbank, we decided to get tickets for the preview of Kathryn Bigelow’s latest film “The Hurt Locker”. The film follows a US bomb squad of the “Bravo Company” whose task is to disarm or control the detonation of “improvised explosive devices” (IED).

The film opens with a quote from Chris Hedges that equates the war experience with the effects of a very powerful drug. The semi-documentary style in which the film is shot gives it a definite air of authenticity and the acting is very convincing. I found very interesting the way in which the whole action takes places inside the squad itself and there is very little or no reference to politicians or even higher ranks within the military. The screenplay was written by Mark Boal who based it on his experiences with a real bomb squad.

The film is not a comment about the Iraq war itself, but a portrayal of the incongruences and horrors of war, any war, and contrasts those experiences with tedium of the typical American life-style by juxtaposing the violence of the battlefield, with the absurd consumerism in a supermarket with aisles piled up with cereal boxes.