The Catalog


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Green Zone

Director: Paul Greengrass

Matt Damon, Amy Ryan, Greg Kinnear, and Brendan Gleeson

Plot Synopsis:

Matt Damon plays the role of Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller serving in Iraq as part of a WMD search team. He is frustrated by the faulty intelligence that he is being fed by his superiors which always leads him to sites with no visible evidence of ever having been used to produce or store WMD's. He becomes convinced that the intelligence which they are being given (supposedly by a high level Iraqi general codenamed "Magellan") is fake. At a debriefing, Miller (Damon) brings up the point that the majority of the intel given to him is inaccurate and anonymous, stating that on his last three attempts to find WMDs, his team had come up with nothing. High-ranking officials quickly debunk Miller's theory about the intelligence being false.

During one such wild goose chase he is approached by a handicapped Iraqi man who calls himself Freedie. He informs Miller about a secret meeting of high level Iraqi generals taking place nearby. Sick of his fools errands... Miller decides to go off mission and try to capture the generals.

The meeting happens to be that of General Al Rawi... a top Iraqi general and his aides who have been in hiding in Baghdad. Many of his aides propose fighting other Iraqi forces and American forces, however Al-Rawi suggests that they remain where they are and wait until the Americans arrive and perhaps make the Iraqi army an offer to join their forces.

Miller raids the meeting... but nearly all of the high ranking generals (Including Al-Rawi) escape... Miller recovers a booklet from one of the captured men (Syeed Hamza) and is interrogating him about the booklets significance when a special forces team arrived and summarily takes custody of his prisoners and demands that Miller hand over all materials recovered from the prisoners. Despite Millers protestations the Special forces officers persist in trying to search him. A scuffle ensues where Miller manages to hide the book in Freddies pocket.

The Special Forces team had been dispatched by Clark Poundstone, a high ranking US official who was supposedly the one in charge of Magellan.

Miller reports the happenings of the day to Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson) a CIA officer he had met after the briefing where he had been reprimanded for questioning the intelligence that was being given to him. Miller gives him the booklet, and Martin confirmed that the booklet contained the location of the safe houses of Al Rawi and his aides.

Martin was of the opinion that Al Rawi would be useful in reestablishing order in post-war Iraq... he felt that the erstwhile Iraqi Army had to play an integral part in any post war system of government... Miller was mortified by Martins idea of dealing with someone like Al Rawi who had been responsible for thousands of deaths under Saddams reign. Martin told Miller that he should not be naive and that hard choices had to be made unless he wanted the situation to deteriorate further and for more people to die. He suggested that they contact Al Rawi and make a deal with him to find out the locations of WMD caches and promise him a role in the future Govt. of Iraq.

Poundstone however tries to stymie their plans and forcibly takes possession of the booklet from Martin. He viciously hunts Al Rawi and all his aides with orders to kill and not capture. Why is he willing to kill someone who could be such a valuable source of intelligence... perhaps better than "Magellan"? Watch the movie and find out!

My Thoughts:

Acting: Well... there is so much action in the movie... that there is no real acting going on...
but there were intense scenes and Damon and Gleeson did a fine job IMO. Kinnear was okay... he made his character look like a douchebag like he was supposed to... The actors who played Al Rawi and Freddie did the best work IMO... that meeting scene was superb...

Story: Dont know how well it will be received by the American public... I liked it. Truth be told I was always skeptical of the WMD claims. Powell talking about WMDS being made in the back of trucks which would be on the move in the desert seemed to be far fetched to me. The story also didnt meander at any time. It was tight and kept you riveted to your seat the whole way through. Shame that I was able to predict the ending though my friends all cursed me for a full hour after the movie.

Overall Score: 75% Points off due to the fact that I wanted to see more of what happened in the end... but they sorta just fade out and allow us to assume what may have happened... then theres other minor stuff... plus the fact that Hurt Locker really kinda makes every other Iraq War movie look mediocre by comparison... if you read worse reviews elsewhere... its probably because some people really get offended by the conspiracy theories that this movie puts forward...


Anonymous said...

I for one am looking forward to this..after bloody sunday,united 93 and the bourne series...Paul Greengrass is definitely on the radar....

The Laughing Man said...

Yeah... Grengrass has not really disappointed me much.. and Damon seems to have acquired the knack of picking good scripts and directors to work with... But I think he needs to break this habit of military/spy kinda roles... I dont want it to become the only kind of role that he is able to do...