Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker"

Now if only every war movie were quite like this one. Yes. It is exhausting. Yes. It is flawed. But is it something to behold in its tightly nit suspenseful sequences, carefully drawn character sketches & Immensely powerful impact that doesn't hit you til the film is done. I'm gonna refrain from what others have done and not call Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker a masterpiece- instead it is as relevant and as poignant as any movie we will likely see this year. It is also the best movie -fiction or non- to be made about the current war in Iraq. A war that is starting to look more and more like Vietnam more than 4 decades ago. The fact that this was directed by a woman is even more astonishing, she has better visual technique than any of the supposed male action directors out there. Bigelow stages every single action sequence as if it were her film's last and the overall impact she gives because of the time she takes gives the film a kind of Western-like feel that makes it feel unforgettable and unvarnished from reality.

The film hits rough patches that don't quite gel with the rest of the sequences & you better get used to watching a plot free movie- then again, there's so much to be had here that it's automatically forgotten once the next action set piece hits. I was struck at how rich & unambiguous her film was. By the end of it, we get to know our three soldiers -including an incredible performances by Jeremy Renner- & you come to the infuriating thought that war is a clueless consequence but a heroic one at that- fuelled by naturally drug induced testosterone. The film opens with a quote that says 'war is a drug' a quote that fits the movie's central character quite well, as his adrenaline and visceral like being takes over any kind of anxiety. Ms. Bigelow has done herself proud and I wouldn't be surprised if we see her honoured by the Academy this year.