Friday, 15 April 2011

Body of Lies

Body of Lies is a good, solid action-thriller. Leonardo diCaprio is Roger Ferris: a CIA field operative initially based in Iraq, but then moved to Jordan. His main contact is through the Langley-based office agent Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe). The main plot involves trying to capture a well-known terrorist leader by any means possible. This involves sacrificing various “assets”, liaising with the Head of Security in Jordan (Hani; played by Mark Strong), manipulating Hani; and then eventually Hani manipulating Ferris to get to the terrorist.

This all sounds really simple but everything is so much better than that. There is plenty of intrigue to keep us wondering what is actually going on; despite knowing the end game. Leo is really good as the main character, putting his life on the line everyday, taking it personally when he has to betray people; whereas Russell Crowe is safe in Langley not giving a shit about the trust that is being betrayed on the ground. I did initially find Russell’s accent a bit weird; I thought it was really going to annoy me, but in the end it was fine. Wow what a pointless comment that was! I really liked the juxtaposition of Leo in Jordan being shot up and knackered, swearing down the phone to Russell as he is picking his kids up from school/giving his kids breakfast etc.

Of course what really makes this film, is Ridley Scott’s direction. He shoots a lot of the action scenes very close in with the characters, giving it a very intense feeling; very similar to Black Hawk Down. He also has a very good eye for detail, as there are many bustling streets and crowded market places involved with the story (action and explosions!). There are also some great sweeping desert shots, adding to the grand feeling of the story before the satellite image zooms in to centre on diCaprio.

This was another of those LoveFilm DVDs that a friend had put on our list; so I had no idea what it was about. I think perhaps this is one of the best ways to see a film, with no preconceptions at all. So I can say perfectly analytically that I enjoyed Body of Lies. Well developed characters; twisty-turney story, and very well put together. I would recommend it to a friend!