Screenplay: Guy Hibbert
Starring: Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, Aaron Paul, Barkhad Abdi, Lain Glen, Phoebe Fox, Jeremy Northam.
I was completely absorbed by this film, from beginning to end.
I’m not a fan of war movies. I find the violence a little too real and disturbing because it is all too true. But Eye in the Sky isn’t one of those blood and guts type of films, it analyses the hierarchy, the politics of war. It makes murderers of all involved.
What a fascinating take on such a complicated issue. We are at war, but from the comforts of our homes; directions are made behind closed doors and bombs dropped from drones. War, in these days, is an ethical conundrum.
There was no loss of momentum in this film, even though the focus was a quiet examination made through dialogue between the characters; the suspense in waiting for difficult decisions that must be made. Not an easy task and very well handled by director, Gavin Hood (Tsotsi (2005), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Ender’s Game (2013)). He lets the characters tell the story in the simplicity of one day, one long moment shown in all its depth and complexity. And using this linear time-line and keeping it simple, the film felt authentic.
Helen Mirren was perfectly cast as Colonel Katherine Powell. A tough as nails, uncompromising military soldier who never waivers from her duty. And mixed emotions seeing Alan Rickman in his final performance as Lieutenant General Frank Benson: a sympathetic character showing his humanity under the cast iron soul of a soldier. Hard to believe this brilliant actor will no longer grace our screens.
It was interesting to have the curtains drawn back to show what happens behind the closed doors of war. I can only sympathise with the people who have to make decisions to try and save as many lives as possible. Deciding what are the legal, ethical and moral ramifications behind the killing of people in a different country – and whose life is worth more.
Eye in the Sky was thought-provoking, suspenseful and moving without theatrics. A film to get people talking about issues that need to be spoken about.