Black Hawk Down
Only the dead have seen the end of war — Plato
This doesn’t need an explanation because the statement strikes the heart of every sane human with sheer fear of hunger, chaos, and eternal trauma. There is a saying a hungry stomach and an empty wallet teach the greatest lesson. And warfare triggers both— draining the economy out of its life, war pushes the people to hunger, forces them to starve to death.
The same scenario is depicted in Black Hawk Down (2001). Years of clash between clans turned Somalia into a god-forsaken hunger-infested country back in 1993. The situation was so intense that the international communities came forward with humanitarian aid but couldn’t make an effort fruitful for local warlords who allegedly used to seize international food shipments from the port of the capital city Mogadishu. Hunger was the weapon of this warlord— as the movie describes. So, the US troops had to establish a little ‘democracy’ there and put everything in order, which resulted in a massacre for US Elite forces, not to mention the number of Somalian lives lost during the short-time battle. Although the audience might not sympathise with the Somalian lives lost in the battle but, I strongly believe nobody gets involved in a war to satisfy his hunger for bullets.
Anyway, those who can’t stand graphical scenes are recommended to wear sunglass before watching the opening scene and some other scenes during the battle. The reason for which I asked you to wear a sunglass is that it reduces the intensity of the gore and uncomfortableness; it’s proven. On a rainy night, two earthworms entered our house, and they were so big and creepy that they made me throw up almost while removing them with a stick. So, my uncle suggested a sunglass and man, it blurred the vision (since at night wearing sunglasses makes you partially blind), and I had no trouble looking at it— resulting in less comfortableness and smooth removal of those creepy creatures.
Okay, about the movie— it’s packed with gunfights, heavy guns mounted on the choppers firing mercilessly at the ‘militias.’ To me, the gunfight seemed so real. Unlike most other warfare movies where we see huge explosions triggered by an AK-47, Black Hawk Down is close to perfect in shooting those battle scenes. Even though the US army is glorified (very usual) unnecessarily, the whole action series gives the audience an impression that those elites have had their fair share of adversities out there in Mogadishu against those ‘skinnies.’ For those who love to experience the raw feelings of a battlefield (I confess the real battlefield is a whole different thing), this is the one for them. But you have to experience it through the eyes of the soldiers. Their sufferings and their struggle to stay alive and make it through the odds says it all— battlefield is not a PC game or simply being shot and shoot at. It’s the game of guts— and when a bullet flies past your head, you cannot but grow guts like never before. Well, I am not a soldier, nor do I have seen war, but I think the real battlefield is somewhat similar to this.
Every warfare movie celebrates the heroism of the victorious; this is not different. But this time, the victory was hard-earned, and the whole mission was at stake, almost. Taking a side in a war movie is quite tough for me, and I won’t judge it from that perspective, but I can tell you the war is always devastating for both parties. And how war can wreak havoc on earth is clearly conveyed through the battle moments of the movie, and the characters have played it well, provoking an emotion that says NO to war.