Aug 30, 2012

Review: Newsmakers - 2009




Polisstyrka X7
Aka: Newsmakers, Goryachie Novosti
Director: Anders Banke
2009
Action/Thriller

A well planned robbery escalates to violent gunfight with the police, so was it so well planned? Perhaps it was coincidence that made thing go as they did? What follows is a cat-and-mouse game where the media covers everything and when the Russian police look like stupid cowards new measures is needed to emend their image. A new project takes its beginning, the military and the police will be the main characters in a new reality show. Cameras are put on all the Special Forces when they’re about to storm the house where the bad guys holds a family hostage. But how much of the material is manipulated? How much is made just to make the police looks better than they really are? Now it’s time to settle the score, not with guns but in the media…

If you look at this just as an action movie you’ll find that there’s a lot of action in the first few scenes. Then it becomes a hostage drama really. It's hard to say how many minutes of action there is in the opening scenes but it’s very well made. It's says a lot coming from me as I don’t like gunfights a lot. But here is realism and a presence in the production that makes it exciting and entertaining. In fact, there’s a really brutal intro the film!

But I don’t think you should see this as a strict action movie or thriller for that matter. There are multiple levels of plots and Meta stories here. I really like the idea with the reality show with the police as participants. It might not be new; it’s been around in some parts of the world for a very long Time (e.g. USA). But this is a bit different, not just because it takes place in Russia and is in Russian but it sure makes thing better. I can’t really tell when the film takes place but it has to be after glasnost and it visualizes a society going down the drain with criminal behavior that the police can’t handle.

Then we have the propaganda, which never left the Russian society, at least not if we are to believe our own westerns propaganda. In other words, you could see this as a political film from multiple views. You can also see this as a film that tells the story of how everything must be shown on TV, how much of the reality shows that are the truth and so on. The ratings rules of course. Much of this is axioms of course but it’s still fun to see the story told.

Obviously you can also choose to see the film two dimensionally, as a hostage drama where possibly the Stockholm syndrome is ventilated as a side issue. There might not be any crush on the kidnappers or so but perhaps some feelings of belonging with the kidnappers. The kidnappers also have a function as warning examples by the way. They repeatedly encourage the kids in the hostage to not to become like them. It’s kind of fun and definitively a yank on society.

I like this movie but I think it’s important to see the full range of it. If you just see it shallowly you will miss depth and interpretations. The only problem that I have with it is that it’s a bit hard to remember who’s who. The characters aren’t strong enough. But on the other hand, I haven’t seen Dai Si Gin which this movie is a remake of, if might be a trademark the filmmakers have tried to imitate?