Lord of War

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It’s hard to say that I liked or enjoyed Lord of War because, at the end of the day, it’s one of the most realistic and poignant examinations of violence and indifference that I’ve ever seen.

That said, it is a fantastic film. Nicholas Cage delivers one of his best performances, accompanied by an incredible effort from Jared Leto. The cinematography and use of music is an artful juxtaposition to the evil subject matter that is being portrayed.

Yuri Orlov (Nicholas Cage) is not only a heartless weapons dealer, but also a professional liar. I’m not entirely sure what is more infuriating: the fact that he got away with so many lies or the fact that he didn’t have to care when he was finally found out. What kind of human being plays an integral part in the death of his own brother, and continues to do the very thing that facilitated his demise? There are many films where the protagonist is despicable, but Lord of War surpasses many of them.

But this film isn’t really about Yuri Orlov at all, is it? It’s about the process of selling instruments of death to war-torn nations. It’s about the people involved – the politicians and military officials – that look the other way in order to collect their paycheck. It’s about humankind’s obsession with the sadistic ritual of murder and bloodshed.

Even when there is one person that cares, one person like Jack Valentine (Ethan Hawke) that wants to make a difference, that individual is inevitably crushed by the unstoppable machine that is war and the sorcerers of death’s construction.

Films that leave the audience with something to ponder are rare, and fewer still are those with a message that is unfortunately so timelessly relevant as Lord of War.

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