Posted November 27, 2009on:
I saw Hurt Locker a few days back. I hadn’t heard of it before my father mentioned he had downloaded it. Apparently the movie is pretty well known, hailed as one of the best movies on the Iraq war, and an unlikely candidate for the Oscars this year. The movie follows a bomb disposal squad in Iraq, as it goes around its daily business of defusing bombs planted by insurgents.
From a movie point of view, it is immensely watchable, with gripping and tense sequences of the bomb disposal squad defusing lethal bombs. The Iraqi landscape is also beautifully portrayed – sandy, hot and war torn; shells of cars lying here and there on the roads; old buildings with curious Iraqis looking on; american humvees snaking around with modern combat geared American soldiers.
With a movie like this, one of the things i was keenly looking out for was bias in its viewpoint of the Iraqi war. Although the movie has been acclaimed as being completely neutral in its viewpoint, i found that far from the truth. The movie is majorly biased towards the American point of view.
It sometimes seems to me that there is nothing greater than Hollywood movies that gives America such an intense belief in its nobility, sensitivity and morality. The movie is far from neutral. Ekta Kapoor, although exaggeratedly, has rightly discovered the best device of conveying the moral character of the characters. It is the eyes. The people with pained and soft eyes are good. The people with squinty and cold expressions are evil.
The movie uses the same device. American soldiers are the ones with soft and kind eyes, bewildered by their situation in Iraq, forever wanting to go back home, repulsed by death, scared of violence, attached to children, committed to save innocents, yet duty bound to remain. The insurgents are forever faceless, depicted fleetingly as steely eyes peering into the gun lens, locking down on their target, consumed by their task in a cold concentration, or as curious faces peering from rooftops, curious to see the impact of the deadly bombs planted by them, killing and using bodies of children for their evil and random acts of violence, or sometimes innocent family men.
And the common Iraqis themselves have been depicted similarly. As annoyances talking excitedly in their alien tongue, expressionless, poker faced, obstructing Americans from protecting even their own selves.
UNBIASED MOVIE?? HUMBUG!!