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The Hurt Locker And Zero Dark Thirty: Language

2176 words - 9 pages

How do Kathryn Bigelow’s films The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty use language to portray the life of combatants in a battle?
Kathryn Bigelow is one of the most iconic directors of the modern era. Her sense of depicting language remains unopposed. She mainly directs films of the war genre. Several of her works have been greatly appreciated, such as The Weight of Water, The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, etc. These have won her several awards and secured her place as one of the most influential directors of all time.
The Hurt Locker is a slow paced film. Most of the scenes have been deeply elaborated with excessive portrayal on the character’s expression. Set during Iraq War, it illustrates the lives of three soldiers who have the most terrifyingly dangerous jobs in the world – working in a bomb disposal squad. They risk their lives every day to provide safety to the society they are aiding. It is an extremely harsh and touching film, which depicts the message that when you love something and keeping repeating it, it becomes an obsession and you cannot live without it. Most of the characters in the film can be interconnected to the actors where he/she have an unsafe passion. There are several metaphors buried in each scene which, when examined carefully, reveal the political meaning.

The lead character of The Hurt Locker, Sergeant First Class William James, is, metaphorically, a character representation of America, often putting him and his team members in harm’s way. He treats his disastrous job as his routinely desire. His exposition takes place at 11:04 minutes, where he is newly accommodated. The shot begins with a close up of his face covered the outside of his arms, a cigarette between his fingers and an evident listener of metal music. He syncs the movement of his finger to the rhythm of the music. Often military personnel are a hardcore follower of heavy metal tempos. As soon as Sanborn, a fellow soldier, steps in his room, he is confident with his replies which Sanborn observes perfectly, but there is also an atmosphere of unfriendliness, for James is filling up the position of Sanborn’s former team partner and friend, Matthew Thompson. During their conversation, James does mention that he has no intentions to fill up the shoes and will only do what he does best. There are several zoom and over-the-shoulder shots used to depict the expression of the opposite party.

Later, at 12:25 minutes, Sanborn, Eldridge and James are on their first mission together. Eldridge is portrayed to be frightened by the idea of war and loss. When he is silenced by Sanborn, it is understood that Eldridge often considers Iraq as a death zone and speaks thoughtlessly. His thoughts scarcely mark James, because he has suffered a lot more agony. All three military personnel are attired in their complete uniform with weapons. Most of the scenes are close-up of Eldridge’s face, emphasizing his expressions over the issue. Eldridge symbolizes those soldiers who...

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