Thursday, 3 June 2010

Unthinkable – A Movie Review

I recently saw the movie ‘Unthinkable’, a political thriller starring Samuel L. Jackson and Carrie Ann Moss (Matrix), playing as black ops interrogator and FBI agent from counter terrorist unit respectively. I was quite intrigued by the story and in some places it even reminded me of  the TV series ‘24’ of which I am a huge fan.

Though it is not a typical ‘Hollywood’ film, it does leave you with a lot of questions in your mind. The main questions being ‘How far are you willing to go when its a question of saving thousands of lives?’, ‘Are you willing to allow ‘human rights violations’ when it comes to saving many lives?’. 

The film is gripping and all the lead actors have given superb performances with Samuel L. Jackson as the bad cop  ‘H’. He has played the role of a menacing and ruthless interrogator with aplomb. To counter balance him, Carrie Ann Moss plays the good cop as Agent Brody, a sensitive yet strong woman. ‘H’ is brought in when ‘Younger’ aka ‘Yusuf’, an American Citizen is nabbed by the authorities after he has threatened to blow up three American cities with nuclear bombs. The bombs are set to blow within 3 days. Younger willingly lets himself get arrested so as to face the enemy knowing fully well what he will have to endure.

Younger is systematically tortured so as to break him down into giving up the locations of the bombs. Agent Brody and many others in the team are shook up by the torture tactics used by ‘H’. They try to stop the entire process but in the end relent to it, to find the Bombs.

Though the story is good, the writer could have given us a glimpse into ‘Younger’s’ past, there was no background about his life to explains his actions. Also, he is willing to take thousands of lives but when it comes to his children’s lives, he caves in and reveals the locations. If he has made a plan to blow nuclear bombs, how could he have forgotten to safeguard his children and let the authorities use them as a leverage? This is where I felt the story was weak.

Many scenes in the movie can make you flinch and gasp due to the rawness and brutality of the torture scenes. Though it is nowhere close to gore movies like ‘Saw’ or ‘Hostel’, the scenes are not for the faint hearted.

The movie is fast paced and has excellent dialogues and twists, which keep you wondering, what next?  It makes you take a long hard look at our values and whether they will withstand, in times of intense pressure. How far are we willing to go under the guise of self preservation and are we ready to justify the torture of a fellow human being when the stakes are high?

The movie cannot be called enjoyable in the traditional sense but is definitely hard-hitting, memorable and impactful. 
Would give it a 3.5 out of 5.

23 comments:

Haddock said...

This is yet to be released here, but will keep a look out for it.

Shilpa Garg said...

Sounds interesting! Will check it out!
How far would you go to save the lives of thousands?...Well, that's a tough one and only tough can do it!!

bollywoodstylediaries said...

thanks for such a detailed review..shall put in down on my list..

hitesh rawat said...

hmmm this one sounds good.........though there have been many movies like this....when i was reading i was thinking of DIE HARD 4...... kind of story....full of action...........

well, i think i can see this movie for Samuel Jackson.....

wannabauthor said...

Hey LP.saw dis one but in bits n pieces .so can't give a very fair review .n thanks very much for ur comment on my post .getting a positive comment from u is like rapunzel telling me I had good hair ...hehe ..ok I know dat was a cheesy example.jus subscribed to ur blog last week.keep d gud articles coming..:)

AmitL said...

Nice review-I will see it,one of these days..:)(Even though it's not a comedy...hahaha)

ViShaL said...

Thanks for the review...I can think of several movies like this where you are undecided in the end...on whether it was good or average or bad and you actually don't know what to say. You often feel that 'yaar ye ek cheez kar di hoti to the movie could have been much better"

Nish said...

Nice tricky question that..."Are you willing to allow ‘human rights violations’ when it comes to saving many lives?"...

I a not a big movie buff so cant say more :)

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sm said...

sounds interesting
thanks for review

LEB said...

Big Fan of SLJ.... will have to watch this one ... thanks for the review. Sounds like one of those must see movies.

Pooja said...

sound thrilling, very my type of movie.. thanks.
but its not yet released here..

Smita said...

not my kind of movie :)

Mr. Stupid said...

Wow. I will add it to my list of "Movies to Watch". BTW, this is a nice review. Smiles:)

pal said...

Nice review... I realised with shock that I enjoy serious movies these days, so I will keep a watch on this movie :-0

Lakshmi Rajan said...

Hmmmm seems like a little weak story but then since you mentioned it is hard-hitting and intense, will watch it. (Anyways I am battle hardened having watched all idiotic bolly movies :P )

Anonymous said...

I saw it. It is has to be the best movie I've seen in awhile. And oh yea, to the critic- there was some background info given about the terrorist. He was trying to safeguard his family, but remember they were denied visas and couldn't leave the country. That is why he caved. And he only gave the answer because he knew that the bombs were in places where the kids wouldn't be harmed. (don't want to tell the whole movie and ruin it for everyone)

Anonymous said...

do not watch if you want to have pleasant night.

abeer eldeeb said...

this movie reveal the ugly face of americans .. how far would you go to save you .. but u kill tens of muslims everyday !!!

ned said...

I saw the movie. I think the hidden message is "justifying torture".

Fourth said...

Just saw this movie on TV. While there are definite plot holes, the movie itself was fun to watch. There is no moral high ground when it comes to torturing terrorists, just winners and losers like "H"says. Movie could have ended with Agent Brody leading the kids outside, and then witnessing the fourth nuclear bomb explode in the distance.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Yes the movie is mesmerising. It is like a horror movie where we are scared but also want to see the movie.

Anonymous said...

I dont know if the movie attempts to deal with "American values" or universal values. If it is about American values then the message is quite an authoritative bullshit , if it is about latter then lot more important questions need to be answered first !

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