Langdon mentions "Conolly's Great Game", this is a reference to Arthur Conolly's term that he coined in reference to the struggle between the British and Russian Empires over control of Central Asia. See more »
The organizing principle of any society is for war. The basic authority of the modern state over its people resides in its war powers. Today it's oil, tomorrow, water. It's what we like to call the GOD business: Guns, Oil, and Drugs. But there is a problem. Our way of life, its over. It's unsustainable and in rapid decline. That's why we implement demand destruction. We continue to make money as the world burns. But for this to work the people have to remain ignorant of the problem ...
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This Film is dedicated in loving memory to Deverok Pritchard (1939-2008) See more »
Written and Performed by Ben Medcalf See more »
Complex, ambitious, challenging- a real experience
I actually had this film and another British 'grit' film - a Jason Statham film- 'Blitz' at the same time. I knew a little about The Veteran and and just didn't feel like watching it since I assumed it was going to be dark. It is that. However, when I actually got my finger out and started playing it- it really grabbed me by the manhood within seconds. Literally. Yes this is a heavy film, but is it something you want to watch? Yes. Is it entertaining, very- it has intrigue, drama and action. The human element of the main character is portrayed excellently by Toby Kebbell who I had seen some months earlier in the Guy Ritchie gangsta powerflick 'RocknRolla'.
I think it's useful to actually bring up Ritchie here, due to its links with Kebbell- and for that matter Statham's 'Blitz' which is a form of dark Ritchie film actually. What they all have in common is the grim underbelly of London and the disturbed inwards of British society. Unlike Ritchie's MTV approach, The Veteran has a hugh scope- a true comment on modern society, civilisation, morality... I could go on... REALLY heavy subjects which are explored with the vigour of a novel. In fact, this film would have probably been better as a novel- some of the labyrinthine plot does not take on first viewing, but I saw that as indicative of the confused state of morals, politics, loyalty and judgements that the film centres on. In this respect Kebbell's hard but traumatised soldier is a great piece of acting and a fantastic vehicle for a mixture of action/thriller entertainment and social commentary.
The conflicting opinions about the movie Blitz are typical of the state British cinema finds itself in right now. On one hand you have the type of Lock, Stock Brad Pitt 'ultraviolence' and crime-glorification popcorn for the Hollywood market. The Transporter, Crank and so on are also in the same vein you could argue- pretty soulless Statham nonsense. Blitz as a film is halfway between that and this. And what is this?
Well, it is the other hand. Something British cinema can actually be proud of, it has depth. It does not wallow in 'cool' Tarantino style violence and gore- instead it uses ultra-realistic action scenes (helped by the military/espionage storyline) to get into the heart of the British (read 'western') battlefield of crime, corruption, terrorism... and well, watch it and find out. In many ways, you might almost class this as a post-apocalyptic film, it echoes 1984 and generic Orwellian dystopia. Man up and watch it, give it just minutes and you'll be hooked.
Whether this type of film or the Ritchie style will gain control over Britain's cinematic soul remains to be seen.
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