Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Review of United 93

It is difficult for Us to express Our thoughts on the movie. We honestly need to watch it a few more times before We can formulate a proper response. Throughout the movie, We were thinking too many things. What are the Arabs saying? What are they doing? What are the passengers thinking? What is going on at the various flight control centers? What is going on at NORAD? So much thinking detracted some of Our attention from the movie.

In short: Although We cannot say We liked the movie--after all, the entire movie and its subject matter is not something to be "liked" as much as appreciated--We must say that We approve of it and exhort anyone prepared to watch it to do so.

Here are some points:
1. We really liked the realism of the filming. The movie lacked the shine and polish of a Hollywood blockbuster. There was something real and gritty about it. This emphasizes the reality of what the movie depicts. It also makes its actors more human. There were so many little details that contributed to making it realistic. It wasn't about the big things; everything contributed to it being realitic.

2. We liked the chaos, confusion, and frustration that was depicted in the movie. Every location was thrown into chaos, confusion, and frustration: the plane, air traffic control centers, NORAD, et cetera. The difficulty of officials to ascertain what exactly happened was quite well depicted and, may We add, quite educational. It had slipped Our mind how the authorities would have dealt with the crisis as it was happening. No one was prepared for such a scenario: indeed, the movie subtly makes a big deal about there being a possible hijacking at all. It seemed to be such a novelty, something unexpected.

It is crucial and important for anyone watching the movie to realize the difference between what is known now and the lack of information as the events transpired. It is now known which plane hit which target, which planes were hijacked, and so on. As the events were happening, no one knew this information. The desperation of civilian and military authorities to deal with such rapidly changing scenarios is indeed also heart-rending. These people were so violently, so to speak, thrust into the 9/11 world. Spectators only had to watch and worry; authorities had to do something. What to do was difficult because they hardly had an idea what was happening.

We are glad the movie producers did not gloss over these aspects. There is a certain heroism in the authorities' scramble to comprehend and act accordingly. All things considered, they did very well.

3a. Prior to leaving for their demonic mission, it is shown that the terrorists shaved. Unlike Flight 93 of A&E, the movie makes clear exactly where/what they are shaving. According to Sunni Muslim law, in order to be pure/clean, men are required to remove the hair from under their arms and from the pubic area. Indeed, when Muslims go for pilgrimage, one of the requirements of "assuming iHraam" (iHraam refers to be being in a state of ritual purity usually specific to pilgrimages or other such sacred acts) is removing this hair. In any case, the removal of this hair is necessary for ritual purity.

3b. One scene shows a terrorist using a water bottle to splash water on his hands. He splashes water on both hands. He is performing wuDoo' (ritual washing). Why he would be performing wuDoo' then and there We cannot tell. Was he washing blood off of his hands? If so, why? He would not need to, as according to Islamic law he would be by default ritually pure by being a "martyr." Perhaps seeing the movie a few times more might help Us.

4. The movie producers paid a large amount of attention to details. They should be commended for this. In particular, there were many details about the behavior and speech of the Arabs that impressed Us. Quite a bit of the Arabic was not translated. Some of it was supplication. Other was conversation which We could not make out.

5. At one point, the lead terrorist remarks with joy that his brothers (other terrorists) attacked two targets. His use of "brothers" disgusted Us. His pride in their acts disgusted Us. May he and his "brothers" all suffer eternal punishment. Yes, this movie will make one disgusted.

6. Like The Passion of the Christ, this movie is somber and will not be pleasant. Nevertheless, the movie had to be made, and We believe its producers did a magnificent job. We do not recommend this for children. Let them be innocent for a while yet.

May God in Heaven abundantly bless, sanctify, and honor the brave and innocent men and women who so suddenly lost their lives - many martyred in heroism - on That Day. May He crush the enemies of The Republic and her people.


At 8:07 PM, Blogger Wickedpinto said...

You mention "The Passion of The Christ" (the "the" deserves a capital in this case, because there is only to be one Christ) and I think that, is a reasonable thing, and along those lines I will mention another movie that I thought was great, despite mediocre acting, a mediocre script, lousy direction, but still very powerful.

I saw "8mm" the day it came out, there were 3 of us in the group, and litteraly it was the first movie I saw in a theater that I was completely silent all throughout. The reason is that while it was a decent movie, it was stunning, not in the way it depicted "reality" or the stereotypical "seedy underbelly's of a priveledged american life" but because it was so perverse. "if able to do anything, how long before you would try everything?" kinda thing. As the three of us walked out of the theater, we were still mute, and just as we were climbing into my car a friend of mine said something along the lines of "that is the best movie that I can't every reccomend to anyone" those were the first words spoken by any of the three of us since the first few moments of the movie. and I found that statement profound (a real bitch since he joined the Marine Corps after he wasn't accepted to a particular "art school" after highschool, so basicaly, I have to give credit to a fucking artist for being profound, my conservative credentials are paining me right now.)

I think 8mm is one of those movies that provokes social analysis, just like I think that the passion of the christ required that christians understood that christ didn't just die for their sins, but he was systematicaly tortured, he was destroyed and humiliated in many ways, and it was done in the public square, for all to see, for all to know.(which is actually why Jesus was able to develop such a following, everyone saw a decent guy get destroyed before their eyes)

I haven't seen flight 93, and while I don't know if I got the nuts to see it in a theater I know I should. I trust that it was done well (fucking well better be) but being well done actually makes it harder for me to view. I tear up just thinking about what I will experience while watching the flick, just like christians know what they experienced while viewing the passion. Only this is harder, this isn't a redemption of ourselves, it is a finger of accusation while also THE Clarions call defense. I don't know how I will react.

I think I will see it, best I be alone at the time.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger Wickedpinto said...

OH! I just saw this on the tube.

Dominic Dunne said "I'm glad it was made, it's right that it was made, whether I can take it or not, thats to be seen but we need this" (there are flaws in this off the cusp transcription)

But I think he hit it on the head.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

Good review, Musli. Thanks for the background info...I was wondering what was up with the shaving.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger Dave in Texas said...

Thanks Mushiloon... you cleared up some questions I had.

and thanks for commenting over at my nothing blog.

Dave in Texas

At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am confused by the use of "We" and "Our."


At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Elzbth said...

Thanks for the thoughtful analysis and the clarifying information. Good job.

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Muslihoon said...

Bart, in my main posts I use the royal "we." So, it's just me. Just more arrogant.

At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, okay. That's cool.

It's not like I thought you were part of a collective, i.e. Borg, or anything.

Well, actually I did. I was worried.

Now I am relieved.


P.S. You should know that I like your stuff and consider you the go-to guy on religion.

P.P.S. What's up with these word i.d. codes? Are they supposed to be eye tests, too? I can hardly read the letters.

At 2:38 PM, Anonymous skinbad said...

Interesting that I never thought of the passengers as the true martyrs in the scenario. The murderous motives of the hijackers pale in comparison. Thanks.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Muslihoon said...

Interesting remarks, wickedpinto. I'll have to check the movie out.

Thank you, Mrs. Peel!

Thanks, Dave in Texas! Interesting blog you have indeed.

Thank, elzbth!

Thanks, Bart! They're to prevent spambots, but I've taken the whole thing away. It annoyed me as well. If I get hit with spam, I'm sure I can delete it. Thanks for your comments!

Thanks for the comment, skinbad!

I'm so honored y'all stopped by!


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