Restrepo has been dubbed
the “real” Hurt Locker and revolves around the Battle Company of the
173rd Airborne Brigade who were stationed in the remote valley of Korengal Afghanistan from May 2007 to July 2008. This documentary is
their story that is one of the most explosive experiences of 2011.
The masterminds behind this
film include Tim
Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, the director’s of this documentary
who follow these American soldiers around, giving the world a unique and
realistic picture of the battle in Afghanistan. The documentary starts
with a home video of a young soldier, eager to face the atrocities of
war and to prove himself, however his life is cut short immediately upon
arriving in Afghanistan by taking two bullets.
The death of Juan
Restrepo, the medic of this company serves as a catalyst for the
soldiers as they name their second strategic outpost in his honour and
from there, Restrepo is born. As the company battles the Taliban, this
documentary serves as a snapshot for the atrocities of the war. More
particularly how on Earth that in the 21st century, mankind is still
killing one another. Apart from the shaky camerawork, it is interesting
to see the company form a bond between each other as they walk through
these ungodly lands and attempt to communicate with the locals.
We also get a snapshot
into their minds and the strength they form between each other in order
to survive and ensure that causalities are kept to zero, more
specifically, a minimum. Even though the viewer is given an insight into
the battles as the directors stay low when the bullets start whizzing by
their head, the documentary once again cements the fact that many of
these “brave” young men are puppets to a greater power. If you have seen
The Hurt Locker, this is the real deal and although does not glamorise
war, it really puts it in perspective when compared to where humanity
fits in the grand scheme of things.
Video, Audio &
For a documentary, the
video quality behind Restrepo is rather impressive with vibrant colours
that serve as a backdrop to the sometimes devastation around the
soldiers which gives it a real-world atmosphere to it. If you suffer
from motion sickness, some of the camera work is a little shaky but
apart from that, it’s quite good. Sound compliments the video and
supports Dolby Digital 5.1 that sometimes makes use of your
surround sound, especially when the gunfire commences.
For special features, there
are deleted scenes, additional interviews which is just as interesting
as the movie and a great featurette entitled "Where are they now?".
These additional snippets help give the viewer a unique
insight into the filmmakers ideas and a personal glimpse of the lives of
these soldiers. In the end, Restrepo is a must see documentary to anyone
that enjoys war movies or for those political activists. Powerful from
start to finish!