Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Lord of War

Now you can take or leave Nicolas Cage, I know he has a tendency to over-act, but I really rather liked him in Adaptation. He puts in a similarly convincing performance in Lord of War in a fairly difficult role. I mean how can you portray an arms dealer's human side? I think Cage carries it off rather well, and wish more of his films showed his ability to act rather than over-act. The film itself is thought provoking, without ever really being a difficult film to comprehend. It's all told in a rather straight-forward way, with one slight twist. The whole film is seen from the perspective of Cage's character, a particularly difficult task given the subject matter. However, it does carry this off without you really feeling any sympathy for the main character, even when events overtake him.

The film often makes direct links between the work of the arms-dealer and the consequences of their actions. Particularly so in the opening sequence which follows the journey of a bullet from production to its final, deadly purpose. It also touches on the dictators who use arms dealers to control their countries through terror and force. However, I do think it could have explored the support of the arms trade by the permanent members of the Security Council of the UN, this was only really touched upon. Having said that, to really do it justice the film would need to be a whole lot longer. In the end the film has a lot of unanswered questions, which leaves you to figure things out for yourself, which is a real plus if you hate spoon-fed entertainment. Overall, I think this is recommended watching if you care about the violence around the world that is sponsored by governments and individual arms dealers.