Munich Takes You Back To A Time Of Despair

 (Courtesy of www.imdb.com)

(Courtesy of www.imdb.com)

Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” is a story about a secret Israeli group hired by their government to track down and kill 11 of the Palestinian men who supposedly had a hand in the kidnapping and murder of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.

One of the interesting things about the movie is that it obviously tackles a serious issue: The ongoing feud between Palestinians and Israelis. Although the portrayal of the two ethnicities may be a bit discomforting (since the Palestinians are pictured as terrorists who set a blow to the helpless Israelis), the underlying message of the movie is a bit cliquish but very true to its words. “War is not the answer.” It never has, and probably never will be.

Soon after the terrorist events take place, the Prime Minister assigns Avner (Eric Bana) as the leader of a unit she has assigned to find and assassinate the Palestinians in charge of the murders. Before being allowed to make a decision, Avner is told that he will have to be away from his family until the mission is complete, and also has to keep the mission “under the radar.” Avner accepts the mission without much hesitation and goes off to meet his group members; each one distinct from one another, both personality-wise and the kinds of skills each brings to the mission. The group receives their info on the whereabouts of the Palestinians from a mysterious fellow who seems to be the only one who can help them achieve their goal. One by one, the group travels from one country to the other, hunting down each and every name on their list.

After tragedies and twists occur, Avner soon realizes that he and his men may be just as bad as the terrorists who were in charge of the Munich incident. Furthermore, Avner speculates that there may be no point to his mission, that in a manner of speaking, it may never be completed.

The overall feeling of the movie is quite somber, and at times, moves slow, but it sets the tone of the movie. The fighting scenes are gory, but remind you of the lives lost over political bouts. Eric Bana gives an exceptional role as Avner, accurately displaying the wild emotions that he has to deal with both with the mission and his family. The cast in general does not have any names that stand out, but they give reasonable performances within their roles. The movie is quite long, but I recommend watching it because it’s not only a good movie, but it also has a good message to it.