Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Eye in the Sky

 

I didn’t go to office today. Didn’t feel like it. There was not much work, and its raining heavily across the city. The thoughts of navigating through those horrible roads in the torrential rain dicouraged me. So I stayed back, and watched another movie  :) . It is a British-American movie called Eye in the Sky. No, its not a poem. It is about a single day in modern day warfare. A day in the life of modern soldiers, and the buerocratic nightmare they have to deal with while following orders issued by their own countries.

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It does not have the kind of action you see in Bond or Bourne movies, there is a lot of talk. In so may different accents. They just sit and talk and talk, but man, it is rivetting. The movie holds you at the edge of your seats till the end. You really want to see how it plays out. And gives you something to think about too. The general assumption is that technology has made modern warfare much more safer, and easier. These new age satelite video feeds and drones give the armed forces reach into critical places which where way out of their reach earlier. Instead of actually getting into a fighter jet , pilots can control drones remotely, and decision makers have much more time to think and act upon the intel they receive. But that certainly does not make things easier for them. In every war, there will always be collateral damage. And policy makers try to minimize that damage as much as they can.

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So we have a bunch of British and American soliers co-operating a joint task operation to monitor and capture some terrorists in a friendly African country. And what starts a capture operation moves to a strike operation due to the change in the target’s location, and the presence of multiple wanted people there. Among them are three people in the Britishers’s ‘East Africa Most Wanted’ list, and two new radical recruits, one a British and one an American citizen. Looking at the new changed situation, the decision makers - a colonel , some ministers, the attorney general, quickly loose their confidence, and decide they can NOT approve the kill-operation. Thats when things start getting messy. They refer up , in their respective hierarchies, for approval. And those guys are spread across the world, and they too refer further up.

Fun fact- this is how most decision are done in my office :) .

When the green light finally comes in, after many more hours, the novice done pilot (this is his first time firing a missile) now develops crow’s feet, due to the presence of a very young local girl within the blast radius. This starts of another series of questions up the chain. Does saving the life of ~80 people who migh die in a suicide attack soon , justify the death of one innocent girl as collateral damage ?

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There are some really hard hitting dialogues in the movie, around the cost of war, politics, and its aftermath. Sometimes I felt this movie was more of  a propoganda to describe how each drone strike is carefully evualuated, assessed , the pros and cons weighed, and finally approved. But other times, it made sense too. Fighting any war is not easy, even with all the advantage one might have, its human lifes at stake.

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Star of the movie is that little girl playing hoops in this movie. And before I close, Alan Rickman, you will be missed. Snape’s acting in this movie reminds one of what a talented actor he was.

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