Thursday, January 05, 2006

Munich & Syriana ...

Based on true events:
In 1972 Munich Olympics, 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by Palestinian terrorists group called Black September. Israeli government under PM Golda Meir; recruited a 5 member group of ex-Mossad agents to execute these terrorists.
Well Steven Spielberg is Hollywood’s most talented Jew, and this movie can be interpreted as taking Israel’s side but he presents it in a very unbiased manner. None of these members of the revenge-squad is a trained hit-men and the focus is on how in their first killing; they are hesitant; but became daring and almost emotionless in subsequent ones. It's a movie on the fight for land or "home". It's remarkable how Spielberg presented imparial views of both sides: Palestinians and Israelis.
The performance of all the actors are really good; but two stand out:
- Eric Bana – With every movie of his that I see; I admire him more and more [Troy, Black Hawk Down and Hulk]
- Craig David – The next blonde Bond guy. He’s awesome.
Though; I didn’t quite notice him in Elizabeth or Road to Perdition.

This is a serious and complex movie. It’s a commentary on the existing oil-politics. Though a fictional story, but based in the true existing economic-political dynamics. There are many parallel story-lines but they are all connected. It has CIA operative [George Clooney], oil broker [Matt Damon], Gulf Royal family, corporate giants, lawyers, immigrant workers and suicide bombers.
Though Syriana is a good movie; I preferred George Clooney’s other movie:
Good Night and Good Luck much more.

Listing down some war movies that I’ve seen :
- THE BALKANS [1993]: Behind Enemy Lines, No Mans Land
- SOMALIA [1993]: Black Hawk Down
- THE GULF WAR [1991]: Bravo Two Zero, Three Kings
- VIETNAM WAR [1965-73]: Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now
- KOREAN WAR [1950-53]: M*A*S*H
- COLD WAR [1945-1991]: The hunt for Red October, Topgun, Thirteen Days
- WORLD WAR - II [1939-45]: Saving Private Ryan, Enemy at the Gates, A bridge too Far, Das Boots, The English Patient, The Eagle has Landed, Schindlers List, Tora Tora Tora, U-571, Casablanca
- SOME OTHERS: Braveheart, The Patriot, Ben-hur, Gladiator, Dances With Wolves, Gone With The Wind ...


At 05 January, 2006 23:10, Blogger Christine said...

There are some serious problems with Munich that you ought to know about. You can read a bit about it here, if you are interested. The book that Speilberg based it on was proven to be largely false, and Speilberg fabricates quotes (and attitudes) for Meir throughout the movie.

As far as Clooney's movies...well, I haven't really wasted much time with them. Honestly, what he does will reinforce those who think that big business and the GOP are out to get everyone without doing anything to convince those who study history at all (or have an understanding that big business is just a small business that someone started and grew).

But it's important to understand the nature of what Israel faces daily in their battles against terrorists who have no right to do what they are doing to Israelis. This book does an excellent job of explaining why Israel has every right to react the way they do to continual terrorist attacks, and why the people now known as Palestinians have no right to do what they do to innocent Israelis. (I borrowed it from the library, by the way, and though it's huge and weighty as a topic, it was worth the read. It uses primary sources throughout and actually started as a book to prove the Palestinian point of view.)

At 06 January, 2006 14:04, Blogger Intern said...

Christine ->
If Speilberg tries to convey that terrorism is not the answer to the quagmire that surrounds Isreal today; I totally agree with that!

Hollywood is a powerhouse of pro-liberal ideas ; which is often reflected in movies. I've seen dozens of interviews of George Clooney and I quite admire the messages he sends through his movies: Syriana or Goodnight and Goodluck! Clooney's father is a journalist and he has that investigative spirit imbued in him.

I am pro-liberal and a great admirer of "Hollywood", which I think is doing an excellent job by mixing entertainment with highlighting the issues that really matters. As for Speilberg, he brough out:
- horrors of war in Saving Private Ryan;
- atrocities on Jews and how a private individual could save more than a 1000 Jews from the Aushwitz Concentration Camp in "Schindler's List";
and now
- in Munich, though he "justifies" Isreal's revenge-squad, yet conveys the message that this terrorism not the answer ...

Though he may have moved away from the contents of the book "Vengeance"; but I am alright with his interpretation of the imbroglio!

At 06 January, 2006 14:10, Blogger Intern said...

Moreover I believe that Speilberg has quite a good hold over issues in Isreal for many reasons:
To begin with .. Not only he is Jew and puts in lot of research in the work that he does;
but more because he had his "Shoah Foundation"; which has testimonies of Holocaust survivors.

In short; he has all the reasons in the world to have a pro-isreal stance; and yet he conveys that revenge- killing is not the answer ...

At 06 January, 2006 14:13, Blogger Artful Badger said...

I find it interesting how men and women are fundamentally different in how they view movies.
1. Though the movie is about the Munich Olympics, what you noticed most was how the men were remorseful when they killed first and then were a lot more detached after that.
2. You noticed the men themselves!
A guy would probably view it very differently:
1. He would probably comment on the complexity of the plot, or the quality of the action scenes etc. It would be more of what happened rather than a more emotional analysis.
2. Even if he did find the women attractive, the admiration is more like how one would respond to a Ferrari on the street.
I need to see Munich. Hmm...

At 06 January, 2006 14:55, Blogger Intern said...

Ramani ->
YES, you need to see the movie.

When it comes to movies based on true story/events; I dont mind writing spoilers and I would rather recommend some background reading to understand the movie better!

But let me tell you, the movie is not about the 1972 Munich killings [though it so appears by the name] Rather the movie is the aftermath of this event ... when an Isreali 5-member ex-Mossad revenge-squad is fromed; to kill these 11 Palestinian terrorists ...

And Yups i agree guys and gals are different ...and though I dont like too much violence; BUT...
I love thrillers/action movies ... and I love CARS. Now that doesnt mean I wanna own every good car i see on road; but I do notice tham.....and enjoy their presence on the road!

At 09 January, 2006 23:06, Blogger Artful Badger said...

I was talking about how men and women naturally tend to focus on different things...
Men tend to be more cut and dry/ analytical..
Women tend to see all the emotional type of things..

At 11 January, 2006 16:54, Blogger Intern said...

Ramani - I agree ...
and do see the movie ...

btw I also saw Match Point & Brokeback Mountain!
I'd put a very silly post "breather" and later deleted it. But did you read it, by any chance?

At 17 January, 2006 13:41, Blogger Artful Badger said...

No, I didn't see it.
I don't read blogs as often as I did (which meant all day and all night, along with whatever else I am doing.)
I usually read a bit in the morning and a bit in the night. Rest of the day spent suthufying around Madras and faffing with friends.
Back to UIUC in a week!!
Matchpoint and Brokeback Mountain...I haven't seen both movies.

At 17 January, 2006 13:43, Blogger Artful Badger said...

Anyway, I am replying a little to late.


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