Monday, January 18, 2016

The Siege

Movie Name: The Siege
Year of Release: 1998
Director: Ed Zwick
Stars: Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, Bruce Willis, Tony Shalhoub, Sami Bouajila, Mark Valley, Jack Gwaltney, David Proval, Lance Reddick
Genre: Action, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis & Review:
After the success of "Courage Under Fire" and "Legends of the Fall" (not to mention his award winning epic "Glory"), director Ed Zwick tackled a hot pressing topic, terrorism, with "The Siege". The film follows a fictional situation, in which terrorist cells have made several attacks on New York City. The film specifically focuses on the characters of FBI agents Hubbard and Haddad who are dispatched to deploy and solve the situation. These two agents get the support of a CIA agent by the name of Elise Kraft, who slowly reveals to know a lot more than she originally shared. When the terrorist attacks continue, the President places the city under martial law, bringing the army into fray. Under the command of General Devereaux, the troops seal off Brooklyn and detain all young males of Arab descent in Yankee Stadium. As the situation escalates, and Hubbard and Kraft race to find the last terrorist cell in the area, the full disclosure of the situation starts to emerge.
Ed Zwick has made a career out of focusing on stories where his heroes are virtuous and heroic, within a strict and authoritarian environment. That again is easily visible in the character portrayed so dynamically by Denzel Washington (and to a certain extent, Annette Bening). The film successfully conveys the feeling of impotence and fear that comes with the realization of a threat that may come from anywhere. It's an ominous realization, particularly considering the fact the film was released 3 years before 9/11. The director successfully presents the tension and dynamics of ethnic profiling, and the fear that comes with the loss of personal freedom associated with it. It's a strong film, that allows for the characters to have multiple shades and not be one-dimensional. The film features good performances from Denzel Washington, Annette Bening and Tony Shalhoub, and has a great cinematography from the very talented Roger Deakins. A good film worth watching.