Friday, September 30, 2005

THE WAR WITHIN - A Movie Review

Upon reflection of seeing the internal struggles and conflicts of a would-be Islamic fundamentalist intent on blowing up Grand Central Station in Joseph Costelo's THE WAR WITHIN, two thoughts pop into mind: one, that we have arrived at a comfortable enough distance in time from the incalculable tragedy of the terrorist attacks of September 11th for them to be directly sourced within popular culture; and two, that as a New Yorker, you can almost watch as locations you frequent daily become targets on-screen without too much wincing. Are these good things?

Recent films like HOTEL RWANDA, THE CONSTANT GARDENER and IN MY COUNTRY have taken recent real-life or close-to-real-life tragedies and repurposed them for our cinematic consumption; often shedding interrogation-intense light on international horrors that skip by our news radars. THE WAR WITHIN, on the other hand, deals with still-controversial and fresh events and issues that happened in our and, personally, my backyard. Specifically, the film centers on Hassan (Ayad Akhtar, who co-wrote the screenplay), a Pakistani-born, American-educated and westernized Parisian who is abducted in a terrorist sweep (by who, it's never clear) soon after September 11th, 2001. After horrid treatment, Hassan reappears in the present day as an Islamic fundamentalist sent to New York City, tasked as an engineer for an unnamed terrorist group hell-bent on revisiting new horrors upon the city. While in New York, Hassan stays with Sayeed (Firdous Bamji), a childhood friend, who has assimilated himself and his family quite well into the American dream. As Hassan acquaints his present-self with his past, internal conflict arises. Will he actually go through with his assignment?

Based only on the fact that it portrays the mindset of a terrorist - the "other side" if you will - THE WAR WITHIN is, without a doubt, an important film. Like the films previously mentioned, the producers and filmmakers deserve an enormous amount of credit bringing something like THE WAR WITHIN to the screen. Truthfully, it speaks to overall power of cinema that a rare point-of-view can be given voice and outlet. This is not to say, however, that THE WAR WITHIN is a particularly good film. Hassan's "will-he" or "won't he" conflict is by no means enough to carry an entire film and the middle of its 90 minute span sags from its tiresome prolonging. Other plot devices, like an almost re-kindled romance between Hassan and Sayeed's way too-cute sister, Farida (Sarita Choudhury) and Hassan's fundamentalist 101 education of Sayeed's young son feel awkward, forced and artificial; they suffer from a lack of any real exposition. The best external conflicts, that between Hassan and his old friend, Sayeed, and Hassan and his shaky partner, Abdul, are left under-fed as a result. Until the very end, Costelo's portrayal of the America Sayeed and his family have assimilated into is way too squeaky clean to be believed; any subtle fear of and prejudice towards the main characters is non-existent. Indeed it is the end that finally delivers some unforgettable moments; the scene where Hassan passes the innocent men, women and children he may soon after kill being the most compelling.

They say time heals all wounds; but I wonder what the reaction would have been to a movie like 2001's PEARL HARBOR, had it been released a few years after the original tragedy? Will there be some silly, effects-laden romantic adventure movie made about the events of September 11th fifty years from now? Probably. Until that day, however, we can be at least be treated to a serious yet flawed treatment of events we are still trying to understand.

**1/2 of *****


Anonymous said...

Movie Dude - Look more deeply into The War Within. It is not a 9/11 movie -- it is a POST 9/11 movie.

Oh, and Hassan's partner's name is Khalid not Abdul. Though I don't think it really makes a difference to you.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog! I also have a site about cheesecake factory copy cat recipe
. You can check it out at cheesecake factory copy cat recipe

Also, as a thank you for visiting my site, I'd like to tell you about a great site that is giving away a FREE DVD Camcorder! Just click the following link and enter your Zipcode to see if the promotion is available in your area!

FREE DVD Camcorder

Anonymous said...

nice blog enjoyed it :)

Keep up the excellent work! and i bookmarked u!

so cant wait for ur next post! :)


Anonymous said...

For the Christmas season also: white christmas movie lyric , might as well get in the spirit early this year!

romantic ads said...

We need some romance in our live (husband and me). I am out doing a search on romantic things. Your site caught my eye and I and want to take a quick read. You have a nice site. Keep up the great work. Well back to searching.

romantic beach said...

Hi JollyG15 I am on a quest looking for information on romantic art. I ran across your blog doing a search and thought I would stop by to see if you had any information. Hey, it is nice to see that other people like the same things I do. Anyway thanks for the read.

romantic things said...

Hi JollyG15 I am on a quest looking for information on romantic art. I ran across your blog doing a search and thought I would stop by to see if you had any information. Hey, it is nice to see that other people like the same things I do. Anyway thanks for the read.

romantic gift for a man said...

I am a hopeless romantic out looking for some information on free romantic greeting card. JollyG15, looks like you have put some work into your site. Well, it is about time I go back to looking for more information. Hey, thanks for the read.

movie theater said...

THE WAR WITHIN - A Movie Review
Like many people, I love movies! Last year I got hooked on downloading movies over the internet and it was the best thing in my life! Now I'm downloading movies and burning my own Videos CDs for free!

romantic greeting card said...

I am working on a romantic blog. In doing so I am looking for information on romantic ads. I ran across you site thought I would stop by for a quick read and search. You have a nice site, but I did not find what I was exactly looking for. Thanks for the read. I will stop by at a later date to see what you have.

darrelbrinick79002589 said...

Make no mistake: Our mission at Tip Top Equities is to sift through the thousands of underperforming companies out there to find the golden needle in the haystack. A stock worthy of your investment. A stock with the potential for big returns. More often than not, the stocks we profile show a significant increase in stock price, sometimes in days, not months or years. We have come across what we feel is one of those rare deals that the public has not heard about yet. Read on to find out more.

Nano Superlattice Technology Inc. (OTCBB Symbol: NSLT) is a nanotechnology company engaged in the coating of tools and components with nano structured PVD coatings for high-tech industries.

Nano utilizes Arc Bond Sputtering and Superlattice technology to apply multi-layers of super-hard elemental coatings on an array of precision products to achieve a variety of physical properties. The application of the coating on industrial products is designed to change their physical properties, improving a product's durability, resistance, chemical and physical characteristics as well as performance. Nano's super-hard alloy coating materials were especially developed for printed circuit board drills in response to special market requirements

The cutting of circuit boards causes severe wear on the cutting edge of drills and routers. With the increased miniaturization of personal electronics devices the dimensions of holes and cut aways are currently less than 0.2 mm. Nano coats tools with an ultra thin coating (only a few nanometers in thickness) of nitrides which can have a hardness of up to half that of diamond. This has proven to increase tool life by almost ten times. Nano plans to continue research and development into these techniques due to the vast application range for this type of nanotechnology

We believe that Nano is a company on the move. With today�s steady move towards miniaturization we feel that Nano is a company with the right product at the right time. It is our opinion that an investment in Nano will produce great returns for our readers.

Online Stock trading, in the New York Stock Exchange, and Toronto Stock Exchange, or any other stock market requires many hours of stock research. Always consult a stock broker for stock prices of penny stocks, and always seek proper free stock advice, as well as read a stock chart. This is not encouragement to buy stock, but merely a possible hot stock pick. Get a live stock market quote, before making a stock investment or participating in the stock market game or buying or selling a stock option.

shawnalexander59839011 said...

I read over your blog, and i found it inquisitive, you may find My Blog interesting. My blog is just about my day to day life, as a park ranger. So please Click Here To Read My Blog

k0ety68x said...

Get any Desired College Degree, In less then 2 weeks.

Call this number now 24 hours a day 7 days a week (413) 208-3069

Get these Degrees NOW!!!

"BA", "BSc", "MA", "MSc", "MBA", "PHD",

Get everything within 2 weeks.
100% verifiable, this is a real deal

Act now you owe it to your future.

(413) 208-3069 call now 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

llgn4q04ahzf said...

hey, I just got a free $500.00 Gift Card. you can redeem yours at Abercrombie & Fitch All you have to do to get yours is Click Here to get a $500 free gift card for your backtoschool wardrobe

jw8rruu89ucu said...

hey, I just got a free $500.00 Gift Card. you can redeem yours at Abercrombie & Fitch All you have to do to get yours is Click Here to get a $500 free gift card for your backtoschool wardrobe