insights, ironies and idiosyncrasies in communication and design

from the wide, wide world and the world wide web

Thursday, 18 March 2010

The hurt locked in.

In spite of having both declared outright war on their arch-Oscar enemy and being hunted by former bomb-disposal experts, the tension, drama and gritty realism of the narrative of The Hurt Locker won (over) the film Academy Awards – and though for all its heroism leaves you feeling a taste of victory that is bitter for altogether different reasons.

Bomb diffusion maybe the most perfectly desired metaphor for America's role in the continuing Middle East conflict, but The Hurt Locker uses this as a guise to lure one into a false sense of approval, cheating one into jingoistic pride so that by the time we see the protagonist shooting at some faceless Middle Eastern 007 baddies the whole cinema is cheering – an effect that is heightened by the sense of relief that our key trio's initial desert encounter is with handsome, English Ralph Fiennes and not local Arab militia. There's no such relief though when we (eventually) realise the film is pro-war patriotism dressed up as peace.

One can understand the vast amounts of hurt locked in after the 9/11 tragedy, but is this sort of ethnocentric group therapy the way forward? No. And as so as a movie, this deserves to, er, bomb.

No comments: