The Thin Red Line

The Thin Red Line ★★★★

A depiction of war as dehumanizing in the most literal sense physically possible. Every soldier a person with a family, hopes and dreams, turned into an expendable asset for a constructed higher ideal. Every bullet a murderer, every commanding order a death sentence to people whose loved ones will never see them again. The beauty of the rustling leaves and luscious grass a minefield of invisible terror, unforgiving landscapes shielding even more horrors beyond its seemingly endless scope. Mallick's meditative elegance, heightened by Zimmer's ethereal score, sets an atmosphere where fear is melancholic and danger is existentially horrifying. At about the midpoint of the film, the battle is "won" and we're in a straw hut with survivers of the opposition as prisoners. Having just spent the better part of the past hour and a half blowing each other to bits, prisoners and victors stand around, one trembling in chains and the other shaken to the core, triumphant but at what cost. There are no enemies, just people divided by politics they don't understand. The hesitant amicability is palpable for mere moments before being shattered by the inevitable destruction of the foreign soldiers.

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