Restrepo

Data
Title: Restrepo
Year: 2010
Length: 93 minutes
Directors: Tim Hetherington & Sebastian Junger
Music: guys messing around with a guitar, and a little non-original music
Oscars: nomination for Best Documentary Feature
I saw it: on video (rented from Greencine), yesterday
Synopsis: US soldiers in a particularly dangerous part of Afghanistan have cameras on their helmets

My reaction
Concept:4/4 (Great) No agenda, no opinions, not even much context. Just war, as seen and told by soldiers.
Story:3/4 (Good) Surprisingly, it manages to have a traditional story arc.
Characters:1/4 (Bad) We spend the whole movie with a handful of guys, much of it in ostensibly character-establishing moments, and we don’t really get to know any of them.
Dialog: n/a
Pacing:3/4 (Good)
Cinematography:2/4 (Indifferent) Effective, but not exactly artful.
Special effects/design: n/a
Acting: n/a
Music:3/4 (Good)
Subjective Rating: 7/10 (Good, 3/4 (Good)). Not nearly as strong as I expected it to be. It probably doesn’t help that the bits that would be most exciting in a fictionalized version aren’t shown here (and rightly so, as showing real people get shot and killed would be horrendously bad taste). As for the no-political-agenda angle, I can’t help seeing the lack of an attempt to justify various Horrible Things as condemnation. One thing it makes very clear is that soldiers are not diplomats.
Objective Rating (Average):2.7/4 (Good)

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