Monday, February 20, 2006

JarHead.."We're Still in the Desert"

Originally uploaded by pookie_san99.
The movie based on the book started screening here last week.I read Anthony Swoffords book some time ago.Its based on his experiences during the first Gulf War in 1990.
The movie comes across as a cross between Three Kings,Apocalypse Now meets Full Metal Jacket.
Theres the now almost obligatory enlistment and drill sergeant sequences before the war action scenes start.Or dont.

The majority of the film is spent watching the soldiers anticipating action.Which doesnt really happen.

Like the audience,(all three of us at the afternoon show),Swofford and his sniper buddies are mere passive observers not active participants.

It could have been tedious.It wasnt.The quality of the camera work and scenery was engrossing.
The scenes of burning wells,the black oil rain and Swoffords chat with a charred corpse were notable for their understatement.The harsh desert is portrayed as another enemy like boredom and frustration.
This isnt an in your face, join the dots kind of movie.
"We're still in the desert" the final line in the voice-over is ambiguous.It could refer to Swoffords own personal life journey or refer to the continuing Iraqi situation.
An intriguing adaptation of a book which I also recommend for its insights into the American military and society in general.

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