The Hurt Locker

Now that they’ve released the DVD, Elly and I got around to viewing THE HURT LOCKER last night. What a terrific and moving film. You get so caught up with this team of explosive experts in their last month before being sent home that you are on the edge of your chair during most of it.

Director Kathryn Bigelow has incredible visual and action sense… she, and the Photographer, have placed cameras all over the place in each scene… you can’t escape what is going on no matter where you look.

One issue she deals with that I haven’t seen done anywhere else is the notion of “combat addiction” – especially in the character of Sergeant James who, near the end of the movie, returns home to the utter boredom of family, grocery store, house maintenance… and then feels compelled to reenlist, ending the film with a new 365 day tour.

As Bigelow says:

War’s dirty little secret is that some men love it. I’m trying to unpack why, to look at what it means to be a hero in the context of 21st-century combat.

The three central characters show three radically different sides of the US soldier in Iraq and their dependency on and conflict with each other is pretty much the whole movie. We see other soldiers come and go… and when they go, they go in explosive sequences…literally.

I liked Bigelow’s earlier film, The Weight Of Water, which combined history and research of an Ax Murder in the 19th Century with the frustration and career end of a writer played by Sean Penn… and again, Bigelow stressed the visual imperative. Perhaps her earlier background as a Whitney Museum supported visual artist comes into pay here.

Anyway… The Hurt Locker is up for a bunch of Oscars and is a truly deserving film. Writer Mark Boal, Cinemetographer Barry Ackroyd, and actors like Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, and Brian Geraghty are all excellent. Minor appearances by Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse, Evangeline Lilly and Christian Camargo add a tremendous depth to the piece.

We waited for the credits to see where it was filmed… it felt so much like we were in 2004’s Iraq. The locations were shot in Jordan, and some of he interiors were done in Vancouver. Surprise surprise!

Get out and see this if you haven’t… the DVD is now available and is turning up at rental places.

About btchakir

Retired Theatre Producer, Graphic Designer, Usability Tester and General Troubleshooter with a keen interest in Politics and The Stage. Currently heard on WSHC, 89.7 FM (on line at and occasionally dabbling in Community Theatre.

Posted on February 28, 2010, in Art, Arts, film, history, News, Opinion, War, Word from Bill and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanks, Bill. Sounds really interesting. I just added it to my Netflix queue.

%d bloggers like this: