Thursday, May 04, 2006

Movie Review : Munich

Director : Steven Spielberg

A brilliant, serious, hard hitting movie. It could almost be a documentary ! with the amount of facts that it feeds you. But its a very well presented, excellently told story which has you on the edge of your seat very often.

The movie is set on the backdrop of the Israeli athletes who were massacred during the Berlin Olympics in 1972 by Black September. Israel's secret service the Mossad, forms a squad to assassinate all the people who had a role in that massacre. Mossad gives this squad monetary resources & then disclaims knowing their existence. This squad painstakingly has to locate each target & neutralise him. A slow cat & mouse game is played out with international politics forming part of the intrigue. Spielberg gives you glimpses into the key protagonists family life to humanize the sacrifices & pressure faced by members of the squad.

The editing is really taut & this turns the movie from an excellent flick into a Brilliantly Outstanding Masterpiece. Spielberg handles international political intrigue much better than "Syriana". Why compare these 2 ? They both have terrorism at the core of the story. Both stories span continents, nations & races. Both are key elements of political masterplans. But "Munich" ends up far superior to "Syriana"

In Syriana, so much is tried to be conveyed in a short time that you can't really get into the skin of the characters, the movie keeps flitting about all over the place. Speilberg's characters are each well etched & you can really become one with each of them. You can feel each ones fears, you understand each ones motivations.

Especially when Avner is waiting for one of the targets to turn off the lights, you
actually empathise with him so much that you can feel what he is feeling, his nervousness, apprehension & fear since Spielberg makes you wait for the event & makes you want it to happen & happen quickly.

Munich moves you, Munich makes you empathise, Munich gives you logic, Munich makes you think. All qualities of a great movie.

Munich was nominated for 5 Academy Awards (Oscars) including Best Director for Spielberg, Best Movie, Best Editing and Best Writing, but sadly did not win in any of the categories.

A lot of Israelis have protested the movie saying that it portrays them in a bad light. I don't think so. I think the Israelis did what they had to do to protect their own.

Even if you are a non violent person, you can see the logic behind why Israel did what it had to do. And in the long run, it seems that they did the right thing, because no one wants to mess with Israel any longer. Maybe India can learn from this. When K Suryanarayan's beheaded body was flown back from Afghanisthan yesterday, there were a lot of cries for India to take a harder stance at terrorism against Indians, in & outside of India. Maybe there are some things other than those pertaining to agriculture that we can learn from the Israelis.

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