At the flick f itch

Eye In The Sky fo­cuses on mil­i­tary wag­ing wars through un­manned strikes.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - A e il

AS ex­plored in the new political thriller Eye In The Sky, drone warfare is one of the most hotly de­bated is­sues in the mod­ern geopo­lit­i­cal land­scape.

The film de­picts an in­ter­na­tional mis­sion to take out a ter­ror­ist in South Africa with a drone strike that be­comes com­pli­cated when a child wan­ders into the strike zone, and the com­man­ders must de­cide whether the col­lat­eral dam­age is worth it to ac­quire the tar­get.

Eye In The Sky presents all sides fairly even- hand­edly, and at its New York pre­miere – held at the AMC Loews Lin­coln Square with an af­ter- party at the nearby Parkview Lounge – He­len Mir­ren, who stars as a mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer who ad­vo­cates for the strike to go for­ward, said that even af­ter mak­ing the film, she doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily take any one par­tic­u­lar view­point.

“My opin­ion didn’t re­ally change. I’m more ed­u­cated; I’m more knowl­edge­able,” she said. “I didn’t re­ally have an opin­ion be­fore, and I don’t par­tic­u­larly have an opin­ion now, but cer­tainly I have more education.”

Di­rec­tor Gavin Hood, who tends to split his time be­tween big- bud­get fran­chise fare such as X- Men Ori­gins: Wolver­ine ( 2009) and En­der’s Game ( 2013) and in­die films such as Tsotsi ( 2005) and Ren­di­tion ( 2007), told Va­ri­ety he didn’t know much more about drones than what he read in the news­pa­pers, but be­came ob­sessed with the topic af­ter he read Guy Hib­bert’s script.

“It left me with a lot of ques­tions, and I wanted to talk to some­body af­ter read­ing it, and there was no­body to talk to be­cause I just fin­ished the script. So what do you do? I dived into the In­ter­net,” Hood said.

“I started re­search­ing, and I called friends who had friends in the mil­i­tary, and be­fore I knew it, I was deep down a rab­bit hole of meet­ing peo­ple in the de­fense in­dus­try, the mil­i­tary, and le­gal or­gan­i­sa­tions both for and against drone warfare, and I just soaked it all in for a month be­fore I ap­proached the pro­duc­ers, who were look­ing for a di­rec­tor.”

If that re­search led Hood to come down con­clu­sively on the is­sue one way or an­other, it’s not ap­par­ent from the fi­nal prod­uct.

“I think what Guy’s script does s so well, and what I hope the movie does well, is to give the au­di­ence a good thriller,” he said, “and not inn any way preach or tell them wha at to think, but give them a good de eal to think about.”

Hood’s hard work paid off, ac­cord­ing to Aaron Paul, who pla ays an Amer­i­can drone pi­lot. “He’s such a per­fec­tion­ist. He had done e end­less amounts of re­search. I ju ust imag­ine him, late night, at a libra ary on his 17th cup of coffee, so I just t con­stantly picked his brain, be­cause he seemed to al­ways hav ve the an­swers to my ques­tions,” sa id Paul, who also spent time with a real- life drone pi­lot to get into thee role.

“99.999% of the time, th­ese pilo ots are just sur­veil­lance in the sky, they’re just the eye. This par­ticul ar sit­u­a­tion that we are deal­ing with h in this film, it’s a lit­tle bit of a dif- fer­ent story.”

This is one of two films Paul has out at the mo­ment ( the oth­err is John Hill­coat’s Triple 9), and Paul also has the new Hulu se­ries The Path and a new sea­son of the Netflix car­toon BoJack Horse­man on the hori­zon.

It’s a steep work­load, which is just how he likes it.

“I’m ad­dicted to work. I feel so blessed to do what I do, so I’m just go­ing to keep do­ing it un­til they beg me to stop,” Paul said. “Busy is good.”

Dur­ing his in­tro­duc­tion to the film, Hood brought on­stage Mir­ren ( who yelled at him from the au­di­ence to stand in the spot- light so peo­ple could see him) to say a few words about her friend d, the late Alan Rick­man, who also played a gen­eral in the film.

“I’m very moved that it is his la ast film, be­cause the per­son on the screen, as you will see, is Alan. It’ ’ s not Alan play­ing one of his wond der­ful char­ac­ter roles. He’s bril­liant in this film, but it is Alan as he was as a per­son. Witty, ur­bane, in­tel­li­gen nt, hu­man,” Mir­ren said.

“I think if Alan was sit­ting here e tonight he, like me, would have been very, very proud to have be een a part of it.” – Reuters

t ci e

i ti

che le

i e

t A

( Top) rick­man, in his last role; he plays a gen­eral in the film. — Gsc Movies co- stars Paul ( left) and Mir­ren are very proud of the film that de­bates drone warfare. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.