Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Flags of Our Fathers

Flags of Our Fathers (2006)

From director Clint Eastwood comes this riveting World War II drama that recounts the story of six soldiers instantly immortalized when they were photographed raising the American flag atop Iwo Jima's Mount Suribachi. Based on the book of the same name, the film reconstructs the events that preceded and followed the snapshot that came to symbolize the U.S. troops' triumph and America's indestructible spirit. Ryan Phillippe and Barry Pepper star.
My Two Cents: Its "Wonder Years" finale brought a sense of closure to a scattered presentation that said much more about cameraderie than combat.

NetFlix Rank: Liked It
IMDB Rank: 7/10

Further thoughts:

I really wish I could say more about this film. Perhaps I'm judging it harshly because it's not as dramatic or (forgive me for putting it this way, as it's wholly unfair and damn near disingenuous) as, gulp, patriotic, as a Saving Private Ryan. But thankfully it's not as schmaltzy as a Pearl Harbor either.

Eastwood finds his moments, and much like he did with Mystic River, sets a somber ambience from which to work. It captures the squalor and brutality of war, yet highlights the innocence and valor of the men who stood firm in the face of unspeakable horror.

But I never felt that it built on any kind of momentum. Flags follows a non-linear perspective of a handful of soldiers from before the Battle of Iwo Jima , to the not-yet-victorious, defining moment in which the American troops raised the flag, to the events that followed years later. Yet do we really get to know these men? I felt that the audience's connection was superficial at best. Perhaps that was intended? I don't know.

Here's what I do know: when I see a film such as this I want to feel something. Pride. Bitterness. Faith. Anger. Hope. Distress. Whatever. That's not to say I want to be force-fed propaganda, but is a little pathos too much to ask? I guess subtlety is more Eastwood's style.


Post a Comment

<< Home

web stats analysis