Upon entering the cinema (actually upon choosing what movie to see and buying the movie tickets), I had no idea what the film “Body of Lies” was all about. I was familiar with the title and thought that i must have seen the trailer or read about it somewhere I just could not remember. Anyway, judging by the main actors in the film, my boyfriend and I decided to see it (We were choosing between “Body of Lies” and “Eagle Eye”). Somewhere at the back of my head, I was convincing myself that I have never seen (yet) a film, starring Russell Crowe, that is dull or sloppy or anything nearing the definition of a must-not-see movie. Leonardo DiCaprio is another brilliant actor that I was watching out for (Remember ‘Blood Diamond’?). I have to say, director Ridley Scott (’American Gangster’!) makes another great, engaging film with “Body of Lies”.
While I was watching the film, I was reminded of another film, “Rendition”. It must have been the music because both films used this same sort of guitar-ish strumming effect that (by now) would always remind me of anything (i.e. film, documentary) that has something to do with ‘terrorism”. Go figure. I’ll have to credit the music together with the screenplay, the direction, the script, and just about everything. =)
The foremost thing I could commend about the film is that there was nothing predictable about it. Nothing at all. Even the roles played by DiCaprio and Crowe seem so natural and mysteriously crafted that you would not really know what their next act would be about. I was just always asking myself: “Now what will he do?”. And I kept making guesses in my head–guesses which at the end of the movie proved futile. When the credits appeared signalling the end of the movie, all I could think about was ‘genius’. ‘Genius’ on the part of the story really, and ‘genius’ on the part of those who took part in it.
I understand that not everyone is interested in these kinds of films. They are all about these alleged terrorist attacks, the victims, what the US is doing about it, etc. The same concept of ‘fighting terrorism” remains yet films are placing different points of view about this seemingly trite film genre to present something different to the audience–to present an eye-opener or a wake-up call. ‘Body of Lies” successfully brings just that–something new, without attempting to be too overbearing or contrived.
Also, what I liked about the movie was that it felt real. There was a scene in the movie where Ferris (played by DiCaprio) was telling his supervisor Hoffman (Crowe), that he was out of the job. He did not want to continue anymore and Hoffman was dissuading him. Then Ferris remarked that he knew what was going on in the place (Jordan) more than Hoffman because apparently, Ferris was there. He could experience the whole thing and Hoffman, together with his CIA surveillance group, was physically separated from the actual experience. In watching the film, everything too felt real. I think the premise was well-researched and well-written (kudos again to Mr. William Monahan) and even more, well-executed that the film turns out to be truly a thought-provoking political thriller. The film was surprisingly not devoid of humor to boot. And some cute love story (which to my surprise), was non-sexual. haha.
Before I forget, Mark Strong, who played Hani (head of Jordanian Intelligence), was also brilliant in the film. I also thought he was hot and smart. :p
‘Body of Lies’ is definitely way way better than any political thrillers I have seen. I give it 10 out of five stars. =)