Thursday, 29 November 2007
Lions for Lambs
Laura Pugh writes about Lions for Lambs.
Lions for Lambs takes place six years after America went to war with Iraq. The film itself is in three parts, which is slightly annoying to get into, but after a while it becomes necessary to the plot, allowing us to witness the same event through the eyes of the government, the media and the individual soldier.
Despite his age, Tom Cruise plays senator Jasper Irving successfully as a political figure who has an ultimate plan to target Al Quieda and the Taliban and bring an end to terrorism. Starring opposite him, award winning Merly Streep plays the only female eye candy in the film as journalist Janine Roth. Streep is convincing as a journalist with a heart who interviews Cruise throughout the film. In doing this she unveils the shocking truth that the American government will do ‘whatever it takes’ to win the war, regardless of the lives that will be lost; of course, her version of events will never go to print, and an edited version will spread across the World like wildfire. Director Robert Redford, who also plays Professor Stephen Malley in the film makes us the question the reliability of the media in our society; do we really know what’s going on, or do we simply believe what we are told anyway?
Redford’s character plays against Todd Hayes, actor Andrew Garfield, in the second section of this episodic film, trying to persuade the political science student to see out University. More importantly, her tells Todd about two inspirational students he taught who went to be soldiers; these are the two soldiers the story focuses on in the third snapshot of the film, when they are separated from their patrol. These characters, Ernest Rodriguez and Adrian Finch, are played by Michael Pena and Derek Luke, who give heart warming performances throughout the film playing American heroes. Redfords presentation of the film makes us think of them not only as soldiers, but as university students with a future, young men, and ultimately, numbers on a piece of paper. A very thought provoking film.