American director Sam Mendes’ third feature, Jarhead is in parts biting, in parts harrowing and in parts heartfelt look at the dumbness of war and the ludicrous bureaucracy of the powers that be. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a recruit in the US Marine Corps. Born in a family of war veterans, he is proud to don the green uniform. However, it soon changes to discomfiture at the Boot Camp (which is heavily reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket), and utter disillusionment during his manic stay at Iraq during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The movie contains a strong political commentary in the garb of a farcical satire, and laced with enough black humour to drive home its point. Even though numerous movies have been made on the utter futility and absurdity of war, the marvelously construed narrative and the impeccable eye for detail here truly separate this out. Add to that the brilliant cinematography that is mesmerizing and disturbing in equal measures, the intoxicating score, and a host of fine performances, and you have one extremely well made and crisply edited war movie that nearly managed to transport me out of the comforts of my living room to the insane and ultimately lousy act of protecting the god-damned oil fields. “Fuck politics! We are here; the rest is all bullshit”. Touché.
Director: Sam Mendes Genre: War Drama/Political Satire/Black Comedy/Docu-Fiction/Biopic Language: English Country: US