Movie review: Lone Survivor is a scorching, brutal war film

  • Mark Wahlberg, Lone Survivor

    Mark Wahlberg's Lone Survivor is set for release on February 7.

  • Mark Wahlberg

    Starring Mark Wahlberg, Lone Survivor is an American war film written and directed by Peter Berg (of Hancock fame).

  • Lone Survivor

    Lone Survivor is based on Marcus Luttrell's 2007 book of the same name, and depicts events of the failed United States Navy SEALs mission Operation ...

  • Lone Survivor, Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana

    Lone Survivor stars Mark Wahlberg as Luttrell, with a supporting cast that includes Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, and Eric Bana.

  • Lone Survivor

    Lone Survivor is distributed by PVR Pictures and is up for an Indian release on the 7th of February.

Four Navy Seals are in Afghanistan on a covert mission to neutralise a high-ranking Taliban operative. An act of humanity - letting go of three goatherds who have spotted them - lands them in an ambush.

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana, Taylor Kitsch and Emile Hirsch, the film based on real-life events has been directed by Peter Berg. 

War porn this is not. The film is going to scar you, make you flinch and will leave you wondering about the ethical and moral conundrum that is war.

Ashley Clark of Time Out writes, "After some pedestrian scene-setting, Lone Survivor hits its stride as the mission begins. Whatever the moral implications of presenting extreme physical destruction as entertainment, few films can lay claim to such a sustained, technically impressive rendering of the consequences of combat on the human body. Its most bracing scene, bolstered by appallingly realistic stunt work and effects, sees the Seals tumble down a seemingly endless hill."

It also brings home the inhumanity of war in all its harrowing detail. "Neither an anti-war tract nor a jingoistic rallying cry, the brutal but humane Lone Survivor instead registers as a howl of despair for so many young men and women lost in war," Clark adds.

Denver Post's Lisa Kennedy compares the film with 12 Years a Slave for its relentlessness. "Though not an exquisite piece of cinema - and it doesn't have to be to be powerful - Lone Survivor shares some of the unrelenting qualities of 12 Years a Slave," she says.

The actors also come in for praise for their commendable performances. "All praise to Wahlberg for a performance of shattering ferocity and feeling, especially so when Luttrell, at his most vulnerable, is offered protection by an enemy father and son. Berg rightly lets the people trump the politics. Like the best war movies, Lone Survivor laces action with moral questions that haunt and provoke," writes Peter Travers of Rolling Stone.

This film is for war film junkies as well as those who want to understand the human cost of America and the war it is not winning. "The performances are muscular in a film where action begins to take over not because of miscues by the director, but precisely because that's what can happen in warfare. Directed with care for its protagonists (and by extension all those who loved and honor them), this film still plunges the audience into the violent predicament of its protagonists, and keeps us there."

 

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