Body of Lies
Trust No One. Deceive Everyone is the tag line for Ridley Scott’s latest film, Body of Lies. Starring DiCaprio as Roger Ferris, the CIA’s man on the ground in the Middle East, and Russell Crowe as Ed Hoffman, the eye in the sky controller.
What starts out as an edge of your seats action ride tracking down a new terrorist group who seem to have the upper hand soon turns into a through provoking thriller that investigates the differing ways we all go about finding out the truth.
Terrorism may be the canvas to which this story is painting upon, but really it’s a parable and a warning. It’s a parable about the value of truth over human life, and on another level it’s a warning that the so-called war on terror cannot be won using ‘Western’ methods.
As far as the two main roles go, both DiCaprio and Crowe do a great job portraying radically different characters. DiCaprio’s Roger is passionate about his job and the people he works with. He lives on the ground; living day to day in what Ed would call the cesspool of life. You see Crowe’s character Ed lives the comfortable life in the suburbs. He gets to watch Roger on a wall of monitors from a satellite feed. He’s cynical about life, truth, trust, and is a man who needs results instantly.
It’s easy to hate Ed and love Roger and I think that’s the point of the movie – we’re supposed to like Roger, he’s the one good guy in the whole movie. He plays the honest card for most of the movie.
But then he’s cornered and has to lie. There’s no other way around the situation he’s painted himself into, and through lying he losses the trust of a man he needs on his side.
Roger also looses a little bit of respect form the viewer.
The movie turns into a cat and mouse game that pushes you ever slowly to the edge of your seat as the payoff comes closer, and the explosive twist at the end is exposed.
In the end however, the movie end on an unexpected and slightly muted note, but for the lack of action in the movies final canvas, it’s a pleasing result that wraps up the entire movie very nicely.
When you think out Body of Lies for a while, you start to realise it’s a story about sifting through the lies. The lies we tell ourselves, the lies we tell others and the lies others tell us. Sifting through them to discover who we really are and embracing peace that comes with the reality of knowing who we really are.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Rating: R16 – Contains violence and offensive language
Released on: February 25th, 2009
Year of Original Release: 2008
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Vince Colosimo, Clara Khoury, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani, Oscar Isaac, Ali Suliman, Alon Aboutboul, Simon McBurney, Mehdi Nebbou, Michael Gaston, Kais Nashif, Jameel Khoury
Length (Minutes): 128
Media Format: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Supported Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Director: Scott, Ridley
Studio: Warner Bros