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Old November 23rd, 2018, 02:09 PM
ashdoc ashdoc is offline
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Ashdoc's movie review---A private war



The film is on celebrated war correspondent Marie Colvin , who is played by Rosamund Pike . The film begins with her covering the civil war in Sri Lanka , where she goes deep into rebel territory held by Tamil tigers . But instead of the sympathetic portrayal that the limping spokesperson ( he has been hit three times by bullets in the civil war ) of the Tamil tigers is hoping for , she tells him point blank that she would like to tell the world that the tigers are letting their people suffer for want of food and medical attention .

The above incident is typical of Marie , who always cares more for the innocent victims caught in the crossfire of war instead of the actual fighters . And she is ready to put herself in danger for doing so ; as she frankly admits , she was never cut out to be an ordinary housewife living a comfortable life in a safe suburb . Maybe her trait for not caring for her own safety has been accentuated by her two miscarriages that left her without a child waiting at home .

She is fired upon by Sri Lankan government forces and loses an eye in the conflict . She is justly awarded on returning home , but beneath all the bravado she cries for her lost vision in her eye . But does she want to stop after this experience ? Naah .

She moves to Iraq which is being invaded by the USA and manages to get past Saddam's militia in a nerve wracking encounter to film mass graves being dug up of people killed earlier . Once more , her filming of this makes headlines and a star reporter is born . Her boss Sean Ryan is played by Tom Hollander , and she has differences with him as he sends other reporters to cover because he feels she is too unpredictable .

Yeah , unpredictable she is because of her addiction to drinking and smoking . What else can a person do to blank out horrifying images of mangled corpses and bleeding wounded bodies and death and destruction from the mind ? It's a miracle that she sticks to her job inspite of seeing all the bloodletting .

Next , she is in Afghanistan in the midst of the fighting covering it all . After that , in Libya . She gets to interview Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and he admits he has liked her more than all the women he has met . And later , she gets to see his dead body too after rebels have killed him . She interviews a rapist who raped women on orders of Gaddafi , and he describes how a girl he raped said that God was watching his act from above and he answered that Gaddafi is God . But my view of the conflict differed sharply from her reporting . She claimed that Gaddafi's regime was cruel and was committing atrocities on the people . What she did not tell was that what followed was worse . At least Gaddafi was giving a stable government to his people with a decent standard of living due to sale of petroleum . The west's needless interference left the nation torn apart due to civil war . She was just parroting what the west wanted to hear to justify it's interference .

The final assignment is in Syria , which is in midst of civil war between President Assad's forces and rebels . Here too , she blames the ruler for the war but is able to back up her claims by broadcasting images of innocent people being killed where Assad has claimed terrorists are hiding . Images of people as they die before her eyes leave many including her boss in tears . She takes interviews of women who have lost children and husbands as they try to escape , thus awakening the conscience of the free world .

But she gets too carried away and refuses to get evacuated as the fighting comes too close . In her will to report everything from the ground as it happens , it seems she also has a death wish . Her last interview from the city of Homs is reported even by CNN as she is the only western correspondent there . She doesn't make it back home from there ; is killed as bombs rain death from above . She also endangers the lives of those correspondents who choose to stick by her . One of them is killed along with her and the other wounded .

Rosamund Pike has done justice to her role as Marie Colvin . Photography of charred bodies and of the rubble of destroyed cities and of the sand dunes of the desert painted golden by the sun's rays makes for some wonderful and some distressing viewing . Colours are good and so is background music . Also good is the song in the end by Annie Lennox .

But the movie will be appreciated only by those with a yen for seeing real life horrors. For this no glamorised picturisation of war but is instead a viewing of it's realities . Of all the terrible suffering unleashed by war . Watching the movie makes you cringe on seeing the cruelties .

Verdict---Good .

Three and a half stars out of five .
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Last edited by ashdoc; November 23rd, 2018 at 02:23 PM.
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