Sunday, November 21, 2010

Three Kings

Rating : 8/10
Release Date : 1st Oct, 1999
Time : 114 minutes
Director, Co-Writer : David O. Russell; Co-writer : John Ridley; Music : Carter Burwell
Starring : George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze, Cliff Curtis, Nora Dunn

Quite simply one of the best war movies that I have seen. Illustrates extremely simply the emotions and consequences of war – bereavement, loss, pain, suffering, abuse of power, the question of there being no right or wrong, greed, corruption, camaraderie, loyalty, ethics and most of all, the fallacy of war itself. The hollowness of the thought that war leads to peace or comes without significant collateral damage.

George Clooney and three other soldiers discover a map which points to locations where they believe Saddam has stashed gold stolen from Kuwait. They decide to make an unauthorised trip to get the same for themselves. However, they soon find out that things are not that easy or what they seem and find themselves dragged into the thick of things between local Kuwaiti’s and the remnants of the Iraqi Republican Guard. A journalist is also tracking the story and along with the entire setting and other cast also help add to the overall tension.

The scripting, performances, photography and editing of this film is exemplary. George Clooney is every inch the smooth soldier, who is calm, not hawkish or blood thirsty, the man with the plan, who is looking to look the other way but then when some events occur, is equally unflinching in his decision to dive right in purely on humanitarian grounds. Mark Wahlberg is really good as the trigger happy soldier, the new father who just wants to go home and would rather not get involved. Ice Cube plays an interesting character as well. Ready to follow but yet has a mind of his own. And the fourth soldier, well-meaning white trash, Spike Jonze is clueless, absolutely willing to follow his idol, Mark Wahlberg to the ends of the earth.

Script-wise, the most amazing thing is that it brings out messages very subtly – America’s clueless foreign policy, Saddam’s greed, the blind, unthinking way soldiers follow instructions and how power just always seems to corrupt. Editing ensures that the edge of your seat and you become inseparable. And the sets throw up one surprise after another – the caves that they visit are reminiscent of Aladdin’s caves – yielding one surprise after another.

The film is intelligent, well thought out and well planned. It provokes thoughts by planting stimulus rather than hammering it in. I really wish we could make Indian films like this…

1 comment:

Pradeep said...

Thanks. I would have missed this film.