Thursday, February 16, 2006

MUNICH
Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Ciaran Hinds, Geoffrey Rush, Michael Lonsdale, Mathieu Kassovitz, Hanns Zischler, Mathieu Almalric

"The world was watching in 1972 as 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at the Munich Olympics. This is the story of what happened next."

Cinema 3, Greenbelt 3

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Most of us (that is if you are old enough to remember) are aware of what happened on that fateful night at the Munich Olympics but I don't think we were made aware of the retaliation the Israeli government undertook to extract revenge on those responsible for those brutal crimes. So Steven Spielberg takes us on a journey as we follow a hit squad hunt down several people supposedly responsible for the massacre of the athletes. Rome, Paris, Cyprus, Athens, Amsterdam, London. Every nook and cranny is explored, information is readily available for a hefty sum but money is not an issue ... They have a mission and they will fulfill it even if their own lives are in danger. Eventually the hunters become the hunted and they fall into a world of paranoia. Yet amidst the whole treachery, we are treated to three dimensional characters with human characteristics. They are not portrayed as soulless assassins. The international ensemble cast is good, especially Eric Bana as the conflicted leader of the squad. We get to watch the new James Bond in action. Daniel Craig with his strong features make him quite believable as an actor. I know for a fact that Mathieu Kassovitz who plays the Belgian toymaker is the director of that horror/thriller flick "Gothika" starring Halle Berry. And if you paid close attention, you would have noticed that a certain character during the Beirut raid introduced himself as Ehud Barak. The former Israeli Prime Minister who succeeded Benjamin Netanyahu. For all it's worth, Munich is a pretty good movie, it doesn't necessarily take sides. It just portrayed the facts as it is. Spielberg's direction was good. I like how he would intersperse several scenes together. He did a good job in portraying events that was a top secret of the highest level. I've always been a sucker for movies that depict contemporary history so I'm glad this movie didn't disappoint me at all.
On a personal note, in the mid 70s when my father was transferred to Belgium from India, we had a stopover at the Ben Gurion airport (Israel) to make a transfer. I distinctly remember even though I was only about 10 years old at that time, there were soldiers everywhere and security was extremely tight they rummaged through every single piece of luggage. Those were very precarious times.
But let me just add ... Yes, terrorism in any form is condemnable. But I firmly believe that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Enough said!

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