ROAR TO THE POINT
Lions For Lambs (15) IT was only a matter of time before the backlash, anti-war movies started coming thick and fast. Somewhat of a relief, however, is that this one has more of a point to make than an opinion to impose...
Lions For Lambs (15)
IT was only a matter of time before the backlash, anti-war movies started coming thick and fast.
Somewhat of a relief, however, is that this one has more of a point to make than an opinion to impose.
Rather than force-feeding you the same old line that the war was illegal, we see how events have been influenced by the conflict six years on from 9/11, or, as the film puts it, "one of the five worst times to be an American".
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Directed by and starring Robert Redford, the art of this film is how it provides several perspectives simultaneously, and that's it.
One such perspective is that of Senator Irving (Tom Cruise), a presidential hopeful looking to rise above his party by masterminding an attack on the Taliban in the mountains of Afghanistan.
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He entrusts his plan to a veteran journalist (Meryl Streep) during a rare one-on-one interview, which leaves her caught between her duty to report the revelation and her gut feeling about backing an irresponsible scheme which will just cost more lives.
Most haunting, however, is the side we see through the eyes of young soldiers, Arian and Ernest, two poor and hard-working students, who have excelled at their scholarships to a Californian college amid the sniping rich kids, only to go and surprise their professor (Redford) by enlisting in the army.
We meet them as they set about carrying out Irving's polished plan and are convinced, as educated men, for once they'll be the lions among the lambs.
Rather upsettingly, then, we see the war scupper all their hopes and instead the two become lambs marching into a lion's den.
The film does its best is to highlight some hard-to-stomach, but hardly unknown truths about the nature of war.
The news networks report the success of Irving's plan, despite the events we witness through Arian's and Ernest's eyes, and make for a bitter-sweet reminder of how easily war can become a propaganda tool, while the facts and those who give their all to protect their allies are forgotten and fall by the wayside.