Friday, April 29, 2016

Eye in the Sky (2015)

Eye in the Sky tries to tackle the tradeoff between politics, morality, and warfare. It has a stellar cast, but a rather frustrating story.

Seems there's a herd mentality among the production studios in Hollywood; in recent years we have had two Snow White movies (both in 2012), two movies about Steve Jobs, two on Jungle Book, and the list goes on... Lack of new ideas and dearth of creativity has been discussed in depth before, so I'm not going to spend more time on it. But the point of this "setup" was to say that Eye in the Sky was a weak imitation of an idea that was executed much better in the Good Kill  (2014) that came out a year earlier. Both movies revolve around drone warfare, the stress and trauma on the people directly involved, and the morality and justification behind the collateral damage.

The characters in Good Kill (2014) are believable and the progression of drama is natural. But some of the characters in Eye in the Sky are there just to artificially create a dichotomy of views. This superficiality is most evident in characterization of the drone pilot and one of the secretaries from the British government. I need to preface this argument by first saying that having a strong moral compass is a valuable virtue and anything (whether it be a movie, book or ...) that promotes it, should be celebrated! Coming back to this movie, I do not think people with such moral standings may even enter the army or politics... You would expect to see a rigid moral compass on a member of Doctors Without Borders or UN peacekeeping missions; they probably wouldn't enter the army or politics in the first place. So it's not plausible in this movie when all of a sudden a soldier and a seasoned politician become that conscientious! This made the drama and the dilemma artificial in Eye in the Sky. As a result, the dialogue, although though-provoking, ended up being agitating.

The actors do a magnificent job with the material they were given - Dame Helen Mirren and the late Alan Rickman shone brighter than the rest... Aaron Paul is an emotional actor he always plays the same emotional guy in different occupations.

Watching Eye in the Sky was a frustrating experience overall and I couldn't wait for the movie to be over. Hats off to the actors, but the movie was a 3/10 for me.

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