Saving Jessica Lynch (2003)
Director: Peter Markle
Written by: John Fasano
Laura Regan (Jessica Lynch)
Nicholas Guilak (Mohammed Al-Rehaief)
Brent Anderson (Capt. Troy King)
Based on the true story of the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch, by the United States army, in Iraq. This made-for-TV movie debuted late in 2003 on several television stations across the United States and Canada. The movie was controversial from the start, building upon the American propaganda story of a U.S. prisoner of war during the Iraq war. In March of 2003, Jessica and a number of fellow soldiers were captured and put into a hospital, unfortunately though many of them were killed. There are often two sides to the story: the American and the Iraqi, but without getting into many details (read the Jessica Lynch node), it created a handful of controversy.
Many quickly deemed Saving Jessica Lynch unsuitable for production. It posed much controversy for a barrage of reasons, among others that Jessica Lynch – Private First Class in the U.S. Army around whom the movie was based – is arguably not a hero of any sort, the movie would be seen as nothing more than just “typical U.S. propaganda”, and the movie was admittedly highly transformed from the real events that took place back in March of 2003.
With having a bit of a discussion prior to having seen the movie, discussing the “truth” versus the “American truth”, it almost seemed laughable when the introductory “warning” to the movie specifically stated that some of the characters and events of the true story had been tailored. Even with this in mind, it was easy to get right into the plot of the movie and relate to the characters, and even easy to forget about what really happened.
In terms of the movie itself, there really isn’t much to complain about. Production seemed notably worthy, and direction was good – certainly not any competition to Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs), but not much is really – and it’s quite easy to observe that this isn’t another low budget amateur film. This is a made-for-television docudrama created for the American masses. From the start I must admit that the acting really seemed really sub-par even as early as the first scene, though as the story progressed it became slightly more believable. One major complaint, however, was that the portrayal of Jessica Lynch (as played by Laura Regan) seemed to be anything less than that which could be described as “heroic.” In any early scenes, before Jessica was taken prisoner, there wasn’t a part where she was worrying about the less than perfect circumstances. Sure, war is stressful, but this is a movie that’s supposed to be depicting the successful, enlightening, and inspiring story of the struggle of a young female American hero. Anyone would be terrified of facing some of the situations they faced as a U.S. Army team (being lost in the middle of Iraq with little more than a gun, fighting a way out of an Iraqi ambush), but considering they’ve already altered the story for entertainment purposes, the least they could do is make this less noticeable. Overall, the story was intriguing, even considering I had already known the basics of the storyline, including the outcome. But this, however, is where much of the controversy begins…
The feature really didn’t seem too far-fetched from what I had originally thought; I was really expected some sort of over-worked, Rambo recreation with all the explosions of your typical Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, or Jean-Claude Van Damme flick. A lot of things didn’t seem to parallel with what was the actual account of Jessica Lynch, like the inhumane treatment in the hospital and the injuries she received from the overwhelmingly violent confrontation with the Iraqi soldiers during the surprise attack in the city. But that’s not to say this wasn’t expected from even before I had begun to watch the movie.
All things taken into account, the movie really wasn’t nearly as horribly overdramatic as I thought it was going be. It was created relatively tastefully and a fine job was done in marketing and recreating a story that could’ve otherwise proved to be lacking excitement. Definitely a great follow up for fans of Peter Markle’s other television directorial works (which included various episodes of C.S.I.: Miami, The X Files, NYPD Blue, ER, and The District among others).
Source: Internet Movie Database, http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0377112/
This is a short review of this movie for my Grade 12 Canadian and World Issues Geography course from just this year. Though I enjoy movies, I never was good at reviewing them, and it lacks a lot of content because we were given a specific rubric for the assignment which told us specifically what to write about. Anyways, this is pretty much a gist of what I thought about the movie.
Node your homework.