Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Lions for Lambs" with Meryl Streep, Robert Redford and Tom Cruise

This is a political drama starring Robert Redford as an idealistic and patriotic University Professor with a penchant for helping his students find "greater meaning" to their lives. He is a Vietnam Veteran who protested the war upon his return and has deep misgivings about the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. But, through his lectures, concerning the "meaning of life and" and the individuals "responsibility" to society, he has already had 2 students join the Army and go to Afghanistan. Their story is told in seperate vignettes that all take place at the same time as the main story, with time zones noted. He is now, once again, counseling one of his more gifted students to think about giving more "meaning to his life."

At the same time, Tom Cruise, playing a powerful Senator, is granting an exclusive interview to Meryl Streep, who plays a powerful newswoman. He "leaks" the story to her outlining the new "Win At All Cost" Strategy that is unfolding in Afghanistan. This story is also told alongside of the 2 soldiers in Afghanistan, who are by now fighting just to remain alive.

On the surface it is an overtly political story, but beneath that there are sub currents much more meaningful. Exploring the lies and deceptions that are perpetuated by those in power, and spread by the ever hungry media, enables the viewer to make the comparison to those who live, and die, by these questionable decisions.

But the true, and more central meaning of this film concerns our common state as fellow human beings. In every way, we are responsible for one another. Whether for good or for bad, the influences we choose to have upon one another, are the very things that connect us.

With outstanding performances by all, and directed with great clarity by Robert Redford, this is a film worth watching. And as an added incentive, it will also make you think.

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