Apr 16, 2007

[Movies] Jarhead (2005)

Jarhead poster

Despite owning a DVD copy of the movie, I ended up watching HBO a few hours ago and I have to admit I really enjoyed the movie. Now I have to get around to re-watching it on DVD to see if I missed anything because of the TV censors.

Jarhead is a film based on a bestselling 2003 book of the same name. The story is all about the life of Marine Anthony Swofford during the days leading up to the Kuwait conflict in the early 90's. The film was directed Sam Mendes, probably best known for American Beauty.

This is a great movie, and I'm not just saying that because Jake Gyllenhaal is really pumped in this movie and cuter than ever, haha. No, he is very good in his portrayal of Swofford and he brings a somewhat ironic and intellectual feel to the character while at the same time bringing you along as he descends into what seems to practically be madness. Oh, and did I mention you can just get lost in those blue eyes of his?

The movie is gripping and stunningly real, something that gives credit both to the original story and the manner in which it was brought to life on the silver screen. The character of Swofford seems almost tragic in his struggle to get through every day out in the desert and the film captures his emotions and frustrations almost perfectly. This movie has become one of my favorite war-themed movies along with titles like Black Hawk Down.

The movie is not overly heavy on drama nor is it mind-numbing in its pursuit of violence. Oh no, the movie makes it quite clear that many times, being in the military isn't about non-stop fighting and photo opportunities at every turn. More often than not there's the tedium and the tension, lunacy and gruff seriousness and a whole lot more. Just being a soldier, it seems, is enough to wear anyone down.

Related Links:
  1. Wikipedia: Jarhead (film)
  2. Wikipedia: Jarhead {book}
  3. Wikipedia: Anthony Swofford

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