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‘Lone Survivor’ captures story of failed mission

Brett Sanders

Based on a true story, “Lone Survivor” is a film about survival and friendship.

The cinematography brings the elements of ‘Lone Survivor’ together. (AP Photo)
The cinematography brings the elements of ‘Lone Survivor’ together. (AP Photo)

As said in one of the many climatic scenes, “You can die for your country. I’m going to live for mine.”

The film tells the tale of four United States Navy SEALs being sent on a mission to kill a Taliban leader. The team decides to call off the mission, however, when a bunch of unarmed civilians stumble upon them in the mountains. What follows is perpetual violence within a fight to stay alive.

“Lone Survivor” gives an accurate depiction of what the actual mission, Operation Red Wings, was really like. Pursuing this further, the film has scenes containing an extreme usage of graphic gore. As much as the average viewer would like to look away, one feels as if it is their duty to have their eyes glued to the screen for the entire duration of the film. A reason for this is that the characters truly display pride and honor for their country.

Within the film, one feels a real sense of the relationship between the four Navy SEALs, making the outcome more disturbing and unpleasant to watch. The film does a great job at bringing about emotion in the viewer. Mark Wahlberg, playing real-life Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, shows dedication and strength in his portrayal. One thing, though, is that no matter how dirty he gets in combat, his teeth are always impeccably white and aligned. The supporting cast is also great, including standout performances by Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana.

What really makes this film stand out is how all of the components click together, creating the perfect cinematic atmosphere to encompass the viewer. The cinematography, as mountains are climbed and helicopters are flown, works with the ominous music to create a suspenseful setting that adds to the film’s dimension.

Editing, at times both slow and quick, adds meaning to the circumstances that the characters are going through. The screenplay adds depth to the situation, yet little of the story is spoken and most of it is shown through war action.

The most touching aspect of the film is before the ending credits, when the real pictures of all those involved in Operation Red Wings are flashed across the screen. Although the film is epic and very noteworthy, the pictures shown of the real Navy SEALs are the most memorable part.

While the beginning of the film is slow in giving background information about the characters, the storyline quickly progresses once the mission starts and war pursues.

Even though it is not the best war film to grace the big screen, “Lone Survivor” accomplishes its goal in showing the real-life depiction of a mission gone wrong by displaying the horrors of war and the sad truth about what happened to those who took part in Operation Red Wings. By the end of the film, the audience is inspired to continually honor their country and the men and women who fight for it each and every day.


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