Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Rules of Engagement

To shoot at more than 300 civilians, many of whom armed and actively firing at you, or to go on the defensive, get mobbed, and die a un-soldierly death along with your fellow marines whom you command is the predicament Colonel Childers, the main protagonist of the movie, faces when he orders his men to “waste those Mother F***ers (referring to the armed Yemeni civilians)”atop the US embassy building in Yemen. Although a fictitious typical military courtroom drama on the lines of J.A.G and not too that well received by the critic brethren, more because of the racist portrayal of the Arabs, I have always liked this movie. I feel a lot of soldiers; especially in the current theatre of urban warfare often go through this catch 22 situation. Be it the US marines in Iraq, empathizing only with the soldier on the ground and not with his bosses who made the Iraq decision or the Indian Army in Kashmir, this dangerous predicament has always dogged them!

Either of the options is bound to spell doom for the platoon leader who is making the choice, akin to what Col. Childers played by Samuel L. Jackson goes through. Charged with the culpable homicide of 83 innocent civilians, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman and breach of peace, accusations that could reward him punishments varying from a court martial, life imprisonment to death penalty, Childers chooses Colonel Hays Hodges, a former colleague to be his defense attorney at the J.A.G. Hodges played by Tommy Lee Jones is initially reluctant and sights his dubious stint at the JAG to cool his heels off, but finally agrees to defend him upon Childers’s adamant insistence. Childer’s reason: only a soldier can understand a fellow soldier

The rest of the movie is revolves around the courtroom drama of how Hodges successfully exonerates Childers against insurmountable odds and evidence. Albeit not of the same class, Rules of Engagement is a good one time watch for all those of us bred on the likes of A Few Good Men, Michael Clayton and JFK.

I will go with a 3/5 rating for this.

Understand the ratings :)

1/5 – “Learn from others mistakes”. I have seen it, you don’t repeat it. .

2/5 – Lend the DVD from some idiot like me who has bought it. If you don’t find an idiot buy it on the pavement in front of forum, MG road or Jayanagar or wherever you are. See it at your own risk.

3/5 – Buy the DVD from Landmark if it’s cheap. Good one time watch

4/5 – Very impressive, just buy.

5/5 – Masterpiece, treasure it.

*Originally published at: http://ofbooksmoviesandsitcoms.blogspot.com/


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