Sunday, March 10, 2019

Two-Paragraph Review: A Private War (2018)

I'm not sure if it's really possible to perceive a film like A Private War without having some kind of position towards the conflicts it features. Sure, the film tries to be objective and somehow shift the focus from the wars to the journalists who were brave to traverse them, but it is hard to gauge how successful is it in the same design. This is especially true when it comes to Libya and the war that took place there (and still goes on), now with all that we know in 2019.

Across all of this, A Private War review should, in theory, avoid the choking geopolitical ramifications of the role Western media played in all of that and focus on Rosamund Pike and her great depiction of Marie Colvin. Yet, for me, the focus of the film is not the Colvin’s personal life but the editorial decisions back in London and the how and the why of those moments. In that setup, it is Tom Hollander as Sean Ryan of the Sunday Times who is actually the main character. Sadly, the film offers no answers to the same questions. Marie Colvin might have not been interested in which plane or artillery piece bombed a village, but I can’t help but wonder who sold and shipped those weapons there, as well as those on the other side.