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Monday, 5 May 2014

Windtalkers

Most of you (my regular readers) are aware of my sentiments about Francis Ford Coppola’s nephew.  So it may come as quite a surprise to you guys when I say that I have finally found a movie in which Nicholas Cage does exactly what is expected of the role.  There may be more out there but I haven’t seen the lesser known ones.


Sergeant Joe Enders (Nicholas Cage) and his team of 14 are caught in the crossfire during a raid on Japanese Territory in the Solomon Islands.  It is a bloody battle that leaves him as the lone survivor with a badly damaged ear lobe and a ruptured ear drum that doesn’t allow him the comfort of balance.

With a lot of determination and some help from the hospital nurse Rita (Frances O’Connor), Joe finds his way back into the service (something that I found quite surprising and dangerous).  Having made it through he is given an assignment that most of us with a strong stomach may not be able to digest.

As a strategic move to prevent the Japanese from breaking code language, the US Army recruits a whole bunch of Navajo Indians.  They build a code in a language known only to them.  The code was never cracked by the Japanese all through the war – which is true and a strategic masterstroke.

But most importantly, each of these Navajo Radio Men were protected by a seasoned marine.  Joe’s detail is Private Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach).  Joe’s job is to protect the code – AT ALL COSTS.  Notice the language and then decide if you would like to have this job.  I, for one, wouldn’t want to.

There are so many interesting stories out there in the world that it surprises me to see the world running out of ideas.  Dig deep enough and both the wars will come up with stories that are not just inspirational but also supremely interesting. Surely enough there would be more such true stories in other parts of the world as well.

Windtalkers is probably John Woo’s first foray into War movies.  He retains everything John Woo (read action) and adds a few layers that are pleasantly surprising.  His treatment of Joe Ender’s emotions and the transition of Ben Yahzee from a petrified soldier to one who is obsessed with killing everyone that comes his way is superb.

Windtalkers is actually more a story of human behavior and less of the interesting aspect of war.  Cage is fabulous in portraying Enders and the rest of the cast does a great job in supporting him.  The movie is 12 years old but is still shot extremely well and picked up a few action awards as well.  Deservedly I say.  7 on 10 from my side.  I liked it.

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