The War Zone (1999)


pos_thewarzoneThe War Zone
| General | for (implied) violence and family values |
Director:     Tim Roth
Writer:        Alexander Stuart, Stephen R. Pastore
Release:      1999
Duration:   1:34:45 (25.000 fps)
Language:  English
Country:    UK, Italy

Tom (Freddie Cunliffe) adalah remaja yang sedang sibuk menghadapi serangkaian perubahan dalam kesehariannya. Kepindahan keluarganya dari kota besar ke tempat terpencil membuatnya kehilangan semua temannya. Perhatian ibunya (Tilda Swinton) sedang fokus kepada calon anggota keluarga baru—bakal adik Tom yang sedang dikandungnya. Kakaknya (Lara Belmont) yang memasuki masa dewasa mulai tak asyik lagi sebagai teman bermain.

Saat mulai menikmati lingkungan barunya, secara tak sengaja Tom menemukan sesuatu yang membuat keseharian keluarganya yang damai terasa menyesakkan.

Tom (Freddie Cunliffe) is a teenage boy with a whole lot of changes happen all around him. His mom (Tilda Swinton) is expecting a baby. His blossoming elder sister (Lara Belmont) obviously starts having priorities of her own. Moving from some big city to the countryside, he loses all his friends.

While seemingly doing good adapting, Tom finds something that makes all the tranquility of his daily life a living hell.

Naked, beyond anything graphic

The makeup department is astonishing. And surely never by overdoing it. This is one of the (very) few movies in which we see ‘real’ people, not stage performers—who beneath their threadbare clothing somehow always manage to look being in good shape and fragranced (yes, this is a made-up word).

capt_thewarzone2Bro and sis play well, and dad is not disappointing either. But mom—in her own supporting role, is just perfect (nothing new, with this mom).

Nevertheless, the biggest credit might still duly go to the director (this is his directional debut) and the cinematographer, who succeed in making the ‘implied language’—telling suggestively, and not just dictating verbally (or visually). Some examples. Having a good time riding a bike? There’s no ‘yippee!’ or even a smile, but just a few (bike’s) shakes and clever camera works (early scene). Breast is erotic? Sure, but not when mom’s is out there in the open, it’s when we see Lucy right afterward instead—fully clothed. Violence? This movie has it, heavily. But not by exploiting gore or flooding the dialog with overused curses or blowing things up or beating people down into some hard to recognize mess—this movie is way beyond that. The horror is there, hanging in the air, suffocating all serenity. We just feel it, not by graphically seeing it, but by sensing—through the well maintained common courtesy, no-nonsense dialog, or even the chastity of a baby’s vulva.

This is simply beyond Hollywood, indeed.