Projections - Movie Reviews

The Siege

Director Edward Zwick who moved Courage Under Fire so effectively and molded Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins and Julia Ormond in the epic Legends of the Fall appears to be stiff with the movement of the characters in The Siege.

Else Kraft/Sharon Bridger (Annette Bening) is the most complex character, living many lives and secretly responsible for The Siege.  Bening is strong and effective in this creative role but not compelling.  She is complex but uninteresting.  Bruce Willis as General William Devereaux, an out of control Oliver North type, is a perfect fit for the knee jerk General but his early objections to the occupation force is inconsistent with his actions during the take over.  Denzel Washington is the hero, Anthony Hubbard, from the FBI.  Both his character and presence fit perfectly into the political and violent aspects of the story.

Tony Shalhoub as Frank Haddad, an Arab American member of the FBI has the best part and makes the most of it.  He has the comic lines and clearly has reason to be emotional when the Arabs in Brooklyn are placed in camps by the Army.

Should Arabs be offended?  No.  Political emotions are raised at one point but the script frowns on the confinement and blame which could easily be placed on a community when one member offends.  The Arabs are victims as were the Japanese Americans during World War II.  In Viet Nam, it was "should we destroy the village to save it"?  In this case "should we destroy our freedom to save it"?

Tense at times and interesting, it demands attention, but not as a whole.  It is the performances that drag The Siege to respectability.

The Siege


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