“Right and wrong no longer exist.”
Going into this film, I was not prepared to see the realism depicted – it really caught me off guard. Let’s just this is a major “in your face” type of movie.
Basically, it’s about an American Muslim, Yousef (played by Michael Sheen), who claims to have planted nuclear bombs in three U.S. cities in an attempt to request demands from the U.S. in exchange for the location of the bombs. And, it is Henry Harold Humpries’ aka ‘H’ (played by Samuel L. Jackson), a former U.S. Chief Interrogation agent, job to interrogate and force Yousef to reveal the locations of the bombs by any means necessary.
And, by “any means necessary” – it is just that. Though his tactics may be brutal and shocking, they usually yield results. Yet, this case was by far one of his most difficult ones. And, it required a partner – Agent Helen Brody (played by Carrie-Anne Moss).
Now, Brody was the exact opposite of ‘H’. While ‘H’ was a very bottom line and harsh individual willing to do what it takes to get the job done, Brody was a very kind and caring person – she thought the way to handle matters like these could be resolved civilly.
But, there was one factor against them – time. They had no time to build rapport and handle this matter through the proper legal channels. If they did not find the location of the bombs, millions of people would die – including them.
This was quite a dilemma. And, it put both ‘H’ and Agent Brody in a tough spot. They had no choice but to succeed and to do what it takes to reveal the locations of the three bombs.
This film had a lot of shock value – some of the scenes were very realistic. There were a lot of “in your face” type moments. It was truly shocking to see the brutality and interrogation techniques used in an attempt to obtain the information needed.
Though, this film really became a question of right and wrong. What was right? And, what was wrong?
Was it wrong to use harsh interrogation techniques in an attempt to save millions of American lives? Or, was it right?
And, who is to decide what is right and what is wrong? Is it us as human beings? Or, us as Americans? If so, what gives us the right?
I think this movie has a lot of good points – there’s a very important message here about what is right and what is wrong and the justifications we give as humans as well as Americans for the acts we commit. It’s very interesting to see because it then becomes a matter of perspective.
There’s a point in the film where Agent Brody is accusing ‘H’ that his tactics are wrong only to find that she is only seeing things from one perspective – the lines of right and wrong start to blur and she no longer knows what is right and what is wrong. I don’t want to ruin it for you, but let’s just say her perspective starts to change at this turning point in the movie.
As for the reasoning of Yousef’s actions and his intent to hurt the American people if his demands are not met, his justification is a very interesting one – he makes a very truthful statement. And, this statement can really be taken to heart – it’s very real what he says and almost to the point where we should ask ourselves the question, “What gives us the right?”
Apart from the storyline, this movie had a lot of twists and turns. There were a few moments in the film that really caught me off guard – I thought it was going in another direction only to be taken by surprise (especially near the end). From beginning to end, it definitely was worth it.
If you’re in the mood for a thriller type of movie, I highly recommend this one.
Happy movie watching!
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