Knowing the tragic, disastrous outcome of the 2005 Navy Seal team 10’s mission in the unforgiving mountains of Afghanistan, made the film even more daunting and traumatic. Writer/director Peter Berg creates a beautifully filmed, brilliantly acted scenario based on Marcus Luttrell’s book “Lone Survivor:The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10”. Mark Walberg as “Marcus Luttrell” is intensely genuine, sensitive; encompassing the honor and love shared by the “band of brothers”.
Commencing with scenes depicting the grueling, torturous training, Seal candidates must best, before acceptance in the elite squad of super -humans, twenty-first century armed gladiators; witnessing them at play, reminiscing about their loved ones, the audience becomes vested in their survival; likeable, dedicated warriors determined to make Afghanistan an, al-Qaida, Taliban-free society.
Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, and Emile Hirsch portray the three other Seals, along with Luttrell, dumped in the rough, treacherous hills of Afghanistan; their target, a legendary Taliban terrorist. Events go horrifically awry and the quartet fight against a hundred villains: hypnotically brutal, the men are wounded, eviscerated, never losing an ounce of humanity; their concern for each other supersedes, transcends their personal pain; there is a pristine sacredness in their deaths.
The unbelievable salvation of Luttrell revolves around the unwritten moral code of the Pashtuns; an ethnic group believing, and practicing “Pashtunwali” a philosophy of hospitality “melmestia”; a remarkable, feisty sect worthy of rescue.
Filmed in Mexico, “Lone Survivor” captures the terrain of a country primarily entrenched in a warped, miserly ideology; sadly wondering about the sentiments of 17th century Afgan poet, Saib-e-Tabrizi whose words: “one could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls”; recall days of enlightened, learned citizens; days of poetry, music, magnificence, now withered, dead; honored monuments defaced, a treasured culture erased along with a multitude of lives.
“Lone Survivor” is a valiant film, redolent in truth, anguish, and a sliver of hope; hope that one day unlike “Ozymandias”, we will look back and not despair.
FOUR STARS !!!!