Directed by Gavin Hood, starring Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, Aaron Paul, Barkhad Abdi, Faisa Hassan, Aisha Takow and Monica Dolan. British forces have tracked down the number 3 and 5 on South Africa’s most wanted terrorist list, the mission should be a simple capture and extraction. However, once a small girl enters the target area things become rapidly more complicated.
There have been a number of films made over the last few years depicting various depictions of war, none of which presented a fair and balanced narrative in regards to the perspective of nationals and foreign involvement. They have been directed in a way that the focus is largely on the American, British or European soldiers and intelligence services. This is not nearly adequate enough to even try to encapsulate the divisive debates and discussions that hopefully occur on a daily basis. Though that may not have been the intention of any of those films, it has proven to be their Achilles heel, American Sniper. Eye In the Sky defies this by creating a well balanced ethical discussion, one that is intelligently presented.
This is the last film of the late, magnificent actor, Alan Rickman, who sadly died this year from cancer. Rickman’s performance is as impacting as any of his previous roles, and his presence from future films will be sorely missed.
As an audience, we are privy to a large amount of information surrounding the characters and circumstances, well beyond the awareness that characters within the narrative. This may sound obvious, but ‘Eye In the Sky’ rather intelligently orchestrates this by highlighting and developing the various points made by government officials and tacticians while also balancing a solid focus on the girl who happens to be part of the impact zone. So though the military, the drone pilots and the representatives from various countries develop their perspective solutions and counter proposals to the argument. The Audience has the clearest perception of the situation, this is important because many of these films either miss the component of the nationals, whether they are South African civilians, or Middle Eastern, and are left as an underdeveloped side story.
I would have attempted to provide you with a lengthier review of the film, but it has been orchestrated in such a way, that talking about single moment would be a spoiler and this entire dilemma is incredibly well developed and explored. The only point I can feasibly make is in regards to the emotional impact of the film, which is felt in varying degrees by each member of the cast, whether they are the main role or supporting. Aaron Paul in particular once again demonstrates his immense power as an emotionally driven actor, similar why we fell in love with his character Jesse Pinkman. Helen Mirren is equally fabulous as the Colonel, it is extremely refreshing to see a woman in this role rather than yet another bold man.
OVERALL ***** An extremely intelligent exploration into the ethical dilemmas and philosophical arguments that must hopefully take place on a daily basis, punctuated by a very important message.
RECOMMENDATION – Although this is a war film, as made clear by this review, it is a thoroughly intelligent exploration into the ethics of war. Not a shoot up, Michael Bay explosion, last man standing type war film. I absolutely recommend this !