ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – K – Kajaki (2014) Movie Review


Director: Paul Katis

Writer: Tom Williams (Screenplay)

Starring: David Elliot, Mark Stanley, Scott Kyle, Benjamin O’Mahony, Bryan Parry, Liam Ainsworth

Plot: Kajaki Dam 2006. A company of young British soldiers encounter an unexpected, terrifying enemy. A dried-out river bed, and under every step the possibility of an anti-personnel mine. A mine that could cost you your leg – or your life.

Tagline – A film about bravery, courage, heroism and the ultimate sacrifice.

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Intense

Story: Kajaki starts as we meet the British soldiers in Afghanistan, doing general patrols in the heat, we see how they don’t get along with the locals and on a routine patrol Stu Hale (O’Mahony) steps on a landmine blowing his leg off, with the rest of the unit needing to come together to keep him safe and prepare him for transfer.

As they tend to the injured solider, they discover they are in a minefield, with Mark Wright (Elliot), Stu Pearson (Kyle) getting hit next, leaving Tug Hartley (Stanley) to risk his own life to try and tend to their injuries.

Thoughts on Kajaki

Characters – The characters are based on the real soldiers, they don’t get anything to make them over the top, they all free grounded, which is important, we follow soldiers that are going about their duty and either get injured by landmines or must work to save the lives of the others, we get to see moments of heroic actions, but most of the film is following the characters needing to remain calm through the situation.

PerformancesThe performances during the film are strong, like the characters, the actors make the characters feel realistic, showing the pain suffered, with the reaction of the ones watching over.

StoryThe story follows a unit of soldiers that find themselves in the middle of a mine field with some injured, others needing to remain calm while treating the injured. This is based on real event, which saw the soldiers trapped. We do see this happen with a sudden impact, which is filled with shock for us, with the wounds looking as horrific are they were. While some of the story does go slowly because a lot of it is mostly waiting for rescue and just people needing to remain calm, which does slow down the intensity you would have imagined seeing them in the film.

Biopic/WarThe biopic side of the film shows just how the men were standard and used their skills to survive, while the war side of the film shows that danger that can be found around any corner.

SettingsThe film uses the setting to show how the one location could become a death trap, a place where they couldn’t survive with ease.

Scene of the Movie – The sudden blast one, it surprises us when it happens.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Most of the film suffers from lulls which shouldn’t be here.

Final Thoughts This is an important moment that shows how soldiers must remain calm through difficult situations and the real events are show in brutal realism.

Overall: Brutal, though Slow.

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