10 January 2006


“Every civilization finds it necessary to negotiate compromises with its own values!”—George Jonas/Tony Kushner/Eric Roth

The greatest aspect of Munich is not the visual treat that you see inside the dark theatre for over two hours; but the questions it raises, after you have experienced it!

Are you really civilized if “Revenge” is the path you take for the salvation of your country?

Does the phrase “One man’s Freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist!” hold true?

When survival is at stake, do the methods of how you get out of it matter?

You struggle with these questions and there is no one right answer!

The movie starts with the incident in Munich in 1972 Olympics where 11 Israeli athletes are held hostage by Palestinian Terrorist group called ‘Black September’ and later assassinates them while most of the people involved escape Scott free! The Mossad (Israeli Intelligence Agency) hires Eric Bana to lead a team of 4 to hunt the people involved and kill them.

The first part of the movie is about the killing of each member of Black September involved (?) in Munich as the team hunts down one after another in the list using varied methods. You join in the team’s adventure and enjoy the thrill ride as they move from one city to another.

The director lets you get into the skin of these characters without compromising the length. You feel the struggle of Avner(Eric Bana) as he battles between his time with pregnant wife and the obsession of the job to be done; You get a glimpse of the camaraderie and bonding between the team members; the irritating nature of Carl (Ciarin Hinds) who questions the validity of the list; Robert’s (bomb specialist- Mathew Kasovitz) battle between his religion and the things he is doing; the craziness of Steve (Daniel Craig) who just wants to kill Arabs and the calmness and wit of Hans (Hans Zischler). You also get a very interesting scene when Avner meets the man who is supplying him the location of the people in the list!

Just when you think, the movie is slowing down, there is a magical scene between Avner, a lady in bar and Carl. And it hits you immediately; the story has taken a sharp turn. Fear sets in. It is not a one way street anymore. And it is in this fear that sometimes, you are clear about who your friends are. Most importantly, who are not your friends! There is another poignant scene when Avner and his team have to share a room with PLO fighters who are with the very men they are going to kill. You realize, both sides are fighting for a feeling of “Home”!

The last part of movie is where you see the genius of the script or cinematic manipulation, depending on which side of the equation you are. In a weird, strange way, you sympathize for the assassins of the Black September in those final moments in Airport of Munich where the innocent Israeli Athletes were killed. You can see Spielberg taking over those portions in his inimitable style of personalizing an external event with personal touch that is universal. As a viewer you can’t help but wonder how someone can forgive oneself from the horrors you have committed, where you have been dragged in the name of religion and homeland, fighting for a cause, for an ideal using any methods that will serve their purpose!

There are several characters in this movie that just deserves a huge applause purely for their ability to become those characters. First one among them would be Eric Bana, an Australian who becomes a complete Israeli for the role. Geoffrey Rush, another Aussie, displays a huge range and control as Ephraim. Ciarin Hinds, an Irish, who fits into the role like a glove. The final credit for one of the best supporting role is Ayelet Zorer, an Israeli, who plays Eric Bana’s wife. She does it with such compassion,love,intelligence and screen presence, that in the end , you truly believe, without her, there is no redemption for Eric Bana!

Munich is an experience!


bilbo said...

that was a nice review to read. I am looking fwd to munich when it hits the theaters here. I saw the preview a few days back and googled the hell out of the whole incidence. And u are right abt all the quetions :)

d.K.m said...

one more goes onto my must watch list :)

mermaid said...

I'm going to try and not read this whole post, because I'd like to see it. I haven't seen a film in some time (little one at home). I have several rentals on the list of things to watch.

This post reminds me of a film called "In the Bedroom". It's not exactly about terrorism, but your comment:

"Are you really civilized if “Revenge” is the path you take for the salvation of your country?"

got me thinking.

How am I any different than the one who has hurt me, if I use revenge as an excuse to get even? Am I justified? I'd like to say no, but it's easy to provide an answer when it's not happening to you.

MotoRama said...

And here i was thinking, most movies get released in Japan first!Thanks for droppin by Bilbo!Now i know which site to go when i am hungry!

I heard there is a new awesome high quality theatre in Banglore-Kishore!Hope you wait to see it with your special someone!

I haven't seen that movie..Mermaid..but i know it got nominated for Oscars like couple of years ago.Will check it out!If i go by your blogs,i know you will chop anyone with a Machete if they hurt your family,no matter what u think about revenge now :)

Ardra said...

the questions raised are so valid- esp becos I find myself trying to reason with my elder son of late- who-perhaps becos of his age factor- argues that end kind of justifies the means- that in some extreme situations, violence is the only resort - that to correct/ rectify/prevent certain gross misdemeanors it might be necessary to instigate the fear factor & tho I can never agree- I'm beginning to hear other perspectives- the working of differently tuned minds...scary nevertheless- guess it takes all kinds to make man-kind/ man kind...

Twilight Fairy said...

Hey long time! New blog?

parikrama said...

U got me interested in the movie alrite.. Thanx for the review.

Parvati said...

High time a new post came up! I think that to all the questions you raise, the answers are a simple YES. Not only regarding the right and wrong of the action adopted to handle a situation, but regarding the fact that revenge, terrorism and any other method will be frantically adopted by every human being, when HIS very survival is at stake. That's how it will be, and I don't see anything wrong with wanting to LIVE at any cost.

All said and done, I am responsible for my own survival, first and foremost.

small squirrel said...

ah some very good thoughts raised, both by you and Spielberg.

I am fascinated by this movie. I have yet to see it.

I think this goes to heart of every challenge this world is facing right now. And there are no easy answers. World view changes as we change, as we see things, as we experience them.


SeaSwallowMe said...

… middling marks from me, dRama. i was almost about to post my take on Munich. but i realized a half-second before posting it that there were way too many spoilers in my blog. so i’ll just wait for a couple of weeks before posting my comments.

the keyhole-perspective: the movie asks interesting questions (the questions themselves are nothing new, but they are interesting nevertheless), but i wasn’t too impressed with the the nuts & bolts of the movie itself. details in a couple of weeks :)

camera shy said...

first of all, what i need to do is see the freaking movie

however, you've done exceptionally well to describe it

when we must make compormises on what we know about who we know because they ask us to reexmaine our sence of ethics and our prinicples, it is certainly heart wrenching

MotoRama said...

Ardra:I think with each generation the tolerance levels are coming down.And as we age,we probably mellow down.Thanks for sharing that!

TwilightFairy:Yup!Moved to this place for convenience.

Parikrama:Your welcome!Hope after all this hype,the movie meets your expectations.That's the problem with good reviews.Bad Reviews on the hand,makes the movie more enjoyable since you hardly expect anything.

Parvati:I agree we got to protect ourselves first before trying to make sense. The question is..when will you feel really protected ?

Jess:I think that last part is worth its money in gold."As we experience them".Nuthing comes closer to it.Thanks.

SSM:Will be ready with the spanner to discuss the nuts and bolts SSM!Detailed reply in DSS.

Blog-this: Thanks!I think it is a choice every leader in this world has to take because of people who don't think twice about killing innocents.

UMA said...

There is good content here...why waste your talent on this blog? why dont you consider writing seriously......looking forward to more ! not that one more comment matters to you...

MotoRama said...

Hi Uma,
An email or Blogaddress would be nice so i can go and visit your site or share some thoughts via email.

Every comment matters because they do make my day to know someone spent some time on my writing and felt it was necessary to tell me whether it was good or bad.I don't consider blogging as waste.It is more cathartic and am working on my novel "Karmic Conspiracy!". Hopefully i will move my lazy ass to finish it.Thanks for your time.

Enemy of the Republic said...

I really liked the movie and wrote about it on my page, although not as extensively. Good review and thanks for coming by Spilled to Bloodlessness. I'll keep coming here.

Sriharsh Mallela said...

Waiting for the movie to release in India .. have blogrolled ya..

Bernardo said...

Hi Ramchi! I've been missing you! *-) I spoke to Anjali through e-mail and she gave me your new blog address and then I see your post a few days later. I felt like an old friend surprised me with a visit! I hope all is well with you and your family (and that you are having fun in your new home still!). Regarding the movie, I want to see it very badly. I wanted to see it this last weekend but couldn't. I will hopefully see it this upcoming weekend! Thanks for the well-written review. You made me lament not being able to see it this weekend!

MotoRama said...

EOTR(that does sound like LOTR),
Thanks for dropping by here.I have blogrolled Spilled to Bloodlessness. It's a wonderful effort.

Sriharsh:Thanks buddy..have blogrolled you too.And next time give a warning for those snake pics.

Hey B!,
I missed u too Buddy.Was busy with some personal stuff.Yes,the home is rocking(not literally). Hope you will be visiting here often.Love the new creative things you are doing.All the Best!

UMA said...

”It's almost like being inside of a dream, a big dream in somebody else's much bigger mind.”“The mind of God,” Robert Bruce Dresner said in Karma conspiracy a story...looking forward to the Karmic one!

MotoRama said...

Hey Uma,
So..there is already a title almost similar to that name.Well..mine is total fiction. so i guess i cant be blamed for plagiarism.Thanks for letting me know anyways!Btw,did u notice the sentence u picked sounds like "Matrix"(ofcourse it was based on concept of Mayaa from Hinduism) ?

Uma said...

Robert Bruce Dresner is definitely no Hindu ...Matrix? well
May be never looked at it that way!

You do reply to all the comments...interesting!Looking forward anyway to your book:)

When i log in it's Inner-Reflections

MotoRama said...

Hey Uma,
I didn't mean Robert Dresner as hindu..the movie Matrix was based on the concept of Mayaa in Hinduism(btw i do see you have chosen to remain anonymous).Am glad you feel that way when you log in.(unless thats ur blogname).