Eye in the sky —A fascinating film with Solid Craft

I got a chance to stream and see ‘Eye in the Sky’ — a brilliant gripping tale from start to finish. There were plenty of twists — plenty of them involving high-tech weaponry and surveillance. Still a tragic finish — but I guess the message would never have sunk in if the ending hadn’t been hard hitting enough.

But it is one thing to make a thriller with the usual genre elements — but it is another thing entirely to make a hard-core ‘message movie’ masquerading as a thriller. In its raw uncinematic form, ‘Eye in the Sky’ is filled with uncomfortable, ugly, thorny truths — the impact of drone warfare, the consequences of a prime minister’s approval, the lives killed by a single signature, the inevitability of civilian casualties (collateral damage) in the fight against global terrorism, about how hard it is to fight terrorism without ‘terrorizing’.

But you mix this in with utterly believable, human characters — the colonel who never loses sight of what is at stake, the engineer who is conflicted between what is necessary to save his job and what is necessary to save the girl in the conflict zone, the minister who wants to skirt responsibility, the general who is trying to make everything work and still worries about the wrong barbie doll bought for his grand daughter — this is a film that is filled with a diverse tapestry of characters who just leave you spellbound with their performances.

And the film-making is so fluid that it makes the film-maker invisible. The scenes flow fluidly from one twist to the next towards its inevitable tragic climax — all the while teasing us with the possibility that it might go otherwise.

Amidst tons of films where you munch pop-corn and wonder why the crew bothered to even film it, this is a thriller that makes you think, without waterboarding the message down your throats — it is a rarity. There isn’t going to be a film like this for quite sometime to come.