Monday, June 28, 2010

Green Zone (2010)

Green Zone (2010) bursts with the kinetic energy and authenticity that the director Paul Greengrass is known for. It mixes facts and fiction by draping a fictional hunt for weapons of mass destruction around the Iraq conflict. This is controversial and bold, but the gamble largely pays off (if you can ignore the sometimes overbearing political bluster).

Matt Damon (staring in his third movie with Greengrass) plays Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller. Several fruitless raids for WMD in and around Baghdad lead him to believe that the intelligence behind them is flaky. He meets an Iraqi who tips him off about a meeting of senior officials in the recently disbanded Iraqi army. This ignites a spiral of events which reveals secrets about the bureaucratic origin of the war

By placing a damning fictional narrative around the false assumptions for the Iraq war, The Green Zone makes a very political statement. This is further amplified when a sympathetic Iraqi character emotes to Roy Miller, “it is not for you to decide what happens here".

There’s more than a hint of cliché in several of the characters, but the conviction of the actors makes you forget the overbearing characterization.

The movie is filmed with hand-held cameras with quick cuts, typical of Greengrass’s style. It’s not overly distracting, but doesn't add much to the movie (apart from making the action scenes more zingy).

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