Peter Berg and Taylor Kitsch are a consolidated combination. But with Mark Wahlberg they become a war machine.
Perhaps this trio is the real strength of this film, or maybe it’s a great and painful story that needs to be told by images because it should not be forgotten by the world.
Lone Survivor is not just another war movie, it is a memory lane.
Based on the book written by Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor tells the real story of 4 SEALS sent to capture or kill notorious Al-Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd, in late June 2005 in the operation called Red Wings.
Marc is the lone survivor of this 4-men team.
If he can tell this story today is thanks to an Afghan man: Mohammed Gulab.
He and his village protected Marcus out of duty to their 2,000 year old code of honor called Pashtunwali.
It requires a tribe to undertake the responsibility of safeguarding an individual against his enemies and protecting him at all costs.
But Lone Survivor is, in the first place, a story about brotherhood.
The real Marcus Luttrell, on set, explained to Peter Berg that when he picks up a weapon and he stars shooting he doesn’t do it to protect himself.
“When I’m shooting I’m not protecting myself, I’m protecting you. This is what is all about” and, to voice it on the screen, we have one of the best quotes of the movie when the fictional Marcus says “The rules of engagement says we cannot touch them”. And Axe
answers: “I understand. And I don’t care. I care about you. I care about you and I care about you”.
To reinforce this concept of brotherhood, we have two tangible proofs.
Marcus has not only called his son Axe. But when as part of his rehabilitation was given to him a yellow Labrador puppy, he named it DASY.
Each letter for each member of his team: D as Danny Dietz, A as Matthew Axelson aka “Axe”, S as himself aka “Southern boy” and Y as Michael Murphy aka “Yankee boy”.
Dasy was killed by four men on April 1, 2009.
To frame the excellent success of the film there are also the fine performances by Eric Bana (aka Lt. Cmdr. Erik Kristensen) and by Alexander Ludwig (the ruthless Cato in The Hunger Games) aka the young Shane Patton.
The soundtrack by the band from Austin, Explosion in the sky (Friday Night Lights) and by Steve Jablonsky (Transformers, Battleship) is the master’s touch.
In few words Lone Survivor is further proof that Hollywood and the Oscar are not synonymous.
The movie has been snubbed by Academy which, ironically, named among the
contenders for Best Documentary Feature “Dirty Wars” by Rick Rowley.
It tells about the often disastrous relationship between Americans and Afghan civilians.
But, as Marcus wrote in the prologue of his book, what really matters is that this story can be told to the world.
“I died on that mountain. There is no question. A part of me will always be on that mountain, dead. Where my brothers died. But there is a part of me that lived because of my brothers. Because of them I’m still alive. And I can never forget it, no matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets or how far you fall, you are never out of the fight”.