| THE HURT LOCKER
USA, 2008, 127 min
Languages: English / Arabic / Turkish
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Written by Mark Boal
Produced by Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro
Cinematography by Barry Ackroyd
Music by Marco Beltrami, Buck Sanders
Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse, Evangeline Lilly
The Hurt Locker is a riveting, suspenseful portrait of the courage under fire of the military's unrecognized heroes: the technicians of a bomb squad who volunteer to challenge the odds and save lives doing one of the world's most dangerous jobs. Three members of the Army's elite Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) squad battle insurgents and one another as they search for and disarm a wave of roadside bombs on the streets of Baghdad - in order to try and make the city a safer place for Iraqis and Americans alike. Their mission is clear - protect and save - but it's anything but easy, as the margin of error when defusing a war-zone bomb is zero. This thrilling and heart-pounding look at the psychology of bomb technicians and the effects of risk and danger on the human psyche is a fictional tale inspired by real events by journalist and screenwriter Mark Boal, who was embedded with a special bomb unit in Iraq.
"It is a searing, unforgettable film filled with unbearably tense set pieces and first-rate performances. Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal (who was embedded with a U.S. bomb-disposal squad in Iraq in 2004) have fashioned a gritty, visceral slice of the insanely dangerous, day-to-day operations of a squad of American soldiers that are risking their lives as regularly as you and I take a three-day weekend. (And they know full well that a huge percentage of the civilians back home think they shouldn't even be in Baghdad, or are completely indifferent to their mission.) Bigelow veers close to glamorizing the bloodshed with her penchant for ear-splitting rock and roll and her admittedly impressive, slow-motion shots of explosions. But she also serves up horrific scenes of death and destruction that serve as a punch to the gut. Even if a soldier survives a war physically uninjured, he does not emerge intact."
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun Times
"A lot of movies begin with poetic quotations, but "The Hurt Locker" opens with a statement presented as fact: "War is a drug." Not for everyone, of course. Most combat troops want to get it over with and go home. But the hero of this film, Staff Sgt. William James, who has a terrifyingly dangerous job, addresses it like a daily pleasure. Under enemy fire in Iraq, he defuses bombs. He isn’t an action hero, he’s a specialist, like a surgeon who focuses on one part of the body over and over, day after day, until he could continue if the lights went out. James is a man who understands bombs inside out and has an almost psychic understanding of the minds of the bombers. This is all the more remarkable because in certain scenes, it seems fairly certain that the bomb maker is standing in full view — on a balcony or in a window overlooking the street, say, and is as curious about his bomb as James is. Two professionals, working against each other."
"The Hurt Locker" is a great film, an intelligent film, a film shot clearly so that we know exactly who everybody is and where they are and what they're doing and why. The camera work is at the service of the story. Bigelow knows that you can't build suspense with shots lasting one or two seconds. And you can't tell a story that way, either -- not one that deals with the mystery of why a man like James seems to depend on risking his life"
Elizabeth Weitzman - The Daily News
"It's finally here: the war movie this era needs. For years, directors have been trying to turn our attentions to Iraq, and for years, few have listened. Unapologetically blunt and undeniably gifted, Kathryn Bigelow isn't the kind of filmmaker who expects to go unnoticed.
Striding forcefully into their all-male terrain, Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal pull us along with them, insistent that we see war as soldiers do, in all its brutal, romantic, senseless, predictable, terrifying, and even addictive ways."
Mick LaSalle - San Fransisco Chronicle
"Director Kathryn Bigelow's gender has always been an issue because she makes guy movies - and she makes them better than guys do. For most of her career, her superior talent has had to reveal itself through lesser material, but in the "The Hurt Locker", about a bomb disposal unit in Iraq, Bigelow finds the perfect vehicle to show what she can do that others can't touch.
Bigelow conveys the surface aspects of an action scene as well as any director working today. She can blow things up with the best of them, but she's not McG, who thinks that explosions make a movie. Bigelow is interested in the people in the midst of the trauma, and it's this quality, Bigelow's understanding of the psychological aspect of action, that sets her apart."
Official site: http://www.thehurtlocker-movie.com/
Won 6 Oscars - for Best Feature and for Best Director among others
Cineplex - 05.11 - 21:00; Cinema House - 09.11 - 20:45; Lumiere - 10.11 - 20:45; Cineplex - 11.11 - 19:00