EIFF 2009: The Hurt Locker

Film Review by Gail Tolley | 19 Jun 2009
  • The Hurt Locker
Film title: The Hurt Locker
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse, Christian Camargo
Release date: Aug 2009
Certificate: 15

Kathryn Bigelow takes on the war genre, in this excellent film about a bomb disposal unit in Iraq. Like many films dealing with similar subject matter (for example the Apocalypse Now or more recently Sam Mendes' Jarhead) pure politics are left to one side in favour of an exploration into the impact of war on the male psyche. Yet rather than feeling like old-hat the film’s focus on the three members of the unit is rather captivating and a refreshing alternative to traditional combat scenes. Bigelow’s constantly moving camera, often jittery and restless, does well to convey the tension and latent chaos that bubbles beneath the surface of these soldiers’ lives. With the film’s realist style, almost elliptical narrative and violent subject matter it recalls last year’s excellent mafia film Gomorrah; both films give an intelligent and visually arresting insight into two different types of socio-political conflict.

Showing as part of Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009.