Tuesday, September 9, 2008

UNITED 93 (Paul Greengrass, USA)


September 11, 2001. You know this particular story and how it ends. I hesitated to watch this film because I'm tired of being preached to and told politically slanted versions of real-life events but, a few years ago, I was moved by the film Bloody Sunday. So I skipped the PC-TV version and waited for this to be released on DVD. It was worth the wait. Paul Greengrass has the integrity to take us on this journey, without judgement, of those involved: from the Muslim prayer of the soon-to-be mass-murderers to the humdrum everyday boredom of the passengers who are spending their last few hours on earth. The kinetic camerawork connects us to the characters and creates heightened tension as the story tragically progresses. The action and dialogue is quick and overlapping giving us the illusion of reality which puts us directly in the control tower or among the terrified passengers. This is not a Hollywood propaganda film about American Values (ala the made-for-tv version) and the evils of Muslim terrorists; this is a film that just lets the story tell itself. That simple and powerful! 

Final Grade: (A+)