19/10/2005

LORD OR WAR (what is it good for?)


The message that guns kill people is apparent from the opening shot of the film, which shows five minutes from the perspective of a bullet. The moral message that runs throughout the production is warn clearly on its sleeve and Nicolas Cage enhances it with his first person narrative. This is the story of an immigrant, new to America in Little Odessa, who becomes one of the greatest arms dealers the world has known, the Lord of War.

The story and all the characters within it seem to be driven by their own sense of righteousness, the film at times is funny and risky, these are not always characteristics associated with a subject such as Arms sales in mainstream cinema.

Cage plays a pastiche of previous characters. Intentionally oblique to the moral dilemmas he creates; his multiple personas allow him to sell his wares across the world eagerly tailed by an underused FBI agent, portrayed by Ethan Hawke.

This is very much Cages Film, and being in nearly every shot could make the viewer tire of him, so it is a testament to his skill, that he come across as entertaining, even if his trade is amoral, and he treats his beautiful wife with superficial respect bought by his corrupt wealth.

The best thing about this film is the writing. Cages monologue throughout the film, and the encounters between characters are memorable, not because of the performances but because of the script. . At points this means the characters lose some of their individuality as they all seem to be cut from the same rock. Each character starts to become an obvious metaphor, rather than an individual. Any film which deliberately quotes Oscar Wilde, has to be worth a watch.

At the end we are left with as many questions as before. Cages character does not technically break the law once during the events of the film, and right at the start he states that the weaknesses of international law are what allow him to exist. He only does what he does as society allows him to do so.

A nice peace of work this is worth seeing, if only to acquaint yourselves with the type of people that allow countries to be demolished overnight.



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