CAWWWW!! (Or: The Unexpected Virtue of Far Cry 4)
Look, I didn’t see most of the Oscar contenders this year, so everything you are gonna read from here on out is just the ramblings of an ignorant person with an opinion, much like literally everything else on the internet or on any of those news shows where loud people yell at one another and the host yells at them all back and always gets the last word in. I meant to see more of the nominated films, but the problem was that I saw Birdman first and that flick was so delightful and brilliant that the thought of seeing a depressing/inspirational/heavy-handed biopic seemed about as enjoyable as getting dental surgery.
Now, I saw the preview for American Sniper in the theater, and it was pretty intense. I remember thinking that I was “totally gonna see that, because Clint!” when it came out. But then it landed in theaters and a few things happened almost immediately, things like:
a. The movie created great controversy, which led to thousands of morons such as I who maintain web-logs (“blogs” as the kids say) writing analytical think-pieces about the film’s perceived shortcomings (Because we invaded the wrong country, whoops!) or vehement dismissals that there were any shortcomings at all (Because, it’s about the man not the war!).
b. I realized I am burned out on war movies because The Hurt Locker already won that category for all time, forever. That’s the first time I can remember actually scooting forward in my seat until I was on its edge. I gotta watch that again.
You can make a movie like The Hurt Locker (not, YOU, I mean; you cannot make crap but Catherine Bigelow [of the Bigelow Tea empire – FACT] can) and have it not be mired in controversy because it’s a work of fiction and not based on the autobiography of an exceptionally controversial person. This is why it’s a universal FACT that fiction is better and you should read more fiction, like, say… my book. Don’t read some Gee, Shucks I Was Just Doin’ My Job And I Ain’t No Hero non-fiction money-grab by a guy who landed a measly commercial airliner in a measly river and saved all the measly passengers! Read what tortured artists poured their souls into, man! That’s where it’s at. (PAY ATTENTION TO ME.)
There’s, like, truth in the fantasy or something. That’s what they say. They usually are on point. I really want to meet Them.
Another reason why I didn’t make it to the theater as much as I planned to was because of the absolutely awesome video game, Far Cry 4. For those of you who don’t know what that game is, it’s an open-world shooter that takes place in a fictional country, Kyrat, that’s similar to Nepal in terrain and ruled by a maniacal king who kidnaps you when you arrive in country to scatter your mother’s ashes. The remainder of the game is spent participating in the revolution to overthrow him. Simple enough, right?
What starts out as a simple good vs. evil story soon evolves into a complicated morality play involving alliances with brother and sister revolutionaries who share differing visions of how the country should be reshaped. And when all is said and done, if you choose to kill the king in the end, and despite his established deservedness of being shot out of a helicopter with a rocket launcher (that’s how I went about it), you experience very conflicting emotions during the act.
Conflicting emotions, at the minimum, are what we as humans are supposed to feel when faced with having a choice to kill. And the more and more a person is faced with such a terrible choice, the more and more that person is going to go at least some degree of crazy.
Voluntary or involuntary (or a mix of both: much more likely - FACT) participation in a profoundly fucked situation, especially one that involves extreme violence, horror and suffering, also has a strong tendency to put a hole in one’s proverbial bag of marbles.
All I’m saying is that ignoring one of these two concepts when they are inseparable from one another is revisionism, and though prominent, it has no place in history.