‘Lone Survivor’ creates realistic emotions


Jessica Mangili

I sat on the edge of my seat with my knees pulled into my chest. My partially covered eyes began to tear up as my heart dropped into my stomach. I could feel each blow the soldiers received as they tumbled down the rocky mountain side in my own gut.

For two hours I was not in a movie theater but thousands of miles away in a foreign country fearing for my life.

“Lone Survivor” is not your typical war movie. Often, war movies are criticized for glorifying war. And in a sense they do. The typical war movie has a hero that dies for their country.

Every war movie has someone who defies the odds by enduring wounds inflicted by the enemy and survives. But like many movies from this century, it is more than just that.

Through a carefully composed soundtrack, good acting, and a realistic plot line, director Peter Berg highlights the side of war that is unseen by the public.

The soundtrack for the movie is primarily composed by Texas band Explosions in the Sky, most famously known for their hand in the movie “Friday Night Lights.” Their fully instrumental songs not only guide the viewer through the movie, but allow them to feel the emotion of the situation. Much of the beauty in this movie that makes it stand out from others comes through the adrenaline rush the viewer experiences along side the actors.

At first I was skeptical because the main character is portrayed by Mark Wahlberg, who traditionally plays a more comedic action filled role. I was reassured because his ability to capture the essence of a terrified soldier that is trying to remain calm and strong for his troops was remarkable.

The movie is also criticized for the exclusive use of variations of the f-word — over 200 times. Yes it is a bit excess of, but at the same time it makes the movie more realistic.

If I was being shot at by ruthless al Qaeda soldiers, the f-word would probably slip out of my mouth a bit, too.

War is often depicted as a black and white situation. We need to go into war or not go in war. The soldiers either killed someone or didn’t.

“Lone Survivor’s” realistic plot shows the unseen struggle soldiers experience when trying to do the “right thing.”

The group of Navy SEALS endured on their mission to capture al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd, while a family of mountain herders working for the al Qaeda discovers them. After the SEALS capture the family of two young boys and their father, they must decide how to take action. If they follow rules of engagement and don’t kill the captives they are putting their lives in danger of becoming captured themselves. And possibility being killed. On the other hand if they kill them they will be forced to be criticized by the American public and face time in prison.

Much of the audience was actually rooting for the group to kill the herders and protect themselves. Yet, if we would hear about the situation on the news we would be horrified.

While much of the plot line is given away in the title, “Lone Survivor” is a must see for all audiences to help understand the complexities of war.