Another worthy addition to Netflix's burgeoning catalogue of foreign language films, 'Mosul' is a unique war movie that deserves to find a wide audience. There's been many films made about war in the Middle East, but thus far they've mostly focused on the point of view of the American forces. Sure, the likes of 'Lone Survivor' and 'The Hurt Locker' were terrific, but to the best of my knowledge, 'Mosul' is the first to be told from the point of view of the people who actually live there. 'Mosul' is an international co-production, but it feels like a distinctly Iraqi take on the war against ISIS.
The film tells the story of Kawa (Adam Bessa), a rookie Police Officer in the titular city. With half the city controlled by ISIS and a violent, close quarters battle raging for months, he one day finds himself recruited to join the local SWAT Team. The story unfolds over the course of a single day, Kawa going through a brutal baptism of fire as he and his new colleagues take the fight to the increasingly desperate ISIS forces who have caused so much misery.
Led by the charismatic Major Jasem (Suhail Dabbach - excellent), the cops take the fight to the militants while also trying to avoid detection by their superiors. This SWAT Team might be cops, but they didn't like their orders to withdraw from the fight and have to bribe their own allies to escape unwanted attention. They face car bombs, desperate battles in cramped backstreet alleyways and as the day goes on, the fresh faced Kawa becomes increasingly dead-eyed and battle hardened. But what is their mission exactly? Jasem won't tell him much and all these random gunfights don't seem to be going anywhere other than racking up the body-count. Can Kawa trust these renegade officers and will he live to see his second day on the job?
It's a violent and unrelenting film with some grim depictions of urban warfare. The opening close quarters gun battle is a hectic set piece and if the sound is turned up enough, you can almost picture what being in a real life shoot out would be like. The sweaty palmed fear, the life or death decisions that are made in split seconds...and it only increases as the film goes on. The squad face rooftop snipers and an apparently limitless number of ISIS militants. It's an adrenaline pumping action film that plunges you right into the heart of the chaos.
That said, there is an argument to be made that 'Mosul' may have worked best as a six-part TV series rather than a movie. So much happens that it starts to become unbelievable that this could all happen in a single day, especially when it draws to a close and there's still no sign of the sun setting. Plus, aside from Kawa, Jasem and the squad's second-in-command Waleed, none of the other characters get much time to develop. They drop like flies throughout and they've had so little screen-time that each casualty just looks like another bullet riddled body.
That said, for the most part, 'Mosul' is a gripping and worthy war film from a perspective we rarely see. Kawa's first day on the job is a hell of a ride and it'll be really striking for anyone in a Western Police Force seeing how he gets it. There's no interviews, no training, he just gets given a hat and a uniform and he's in. Sure, he's gunned down a few of the opposing side already, but the application and screening process is remarkably brief. If 'Hot Fuzz' is to be believed, there's gonna be a lot of paperwork once they clock off for the night.
Action / Drama / War
Action / Drama / War
Between 2014 and 2017, ISIS occupied the Iraqi city of Mosul. During those years, the only group to fight the occupiers continuously was Nineveh province's SWAT unit, made up of local men who had either been injured or had a family member killed by ISIS. Carnahan's Mosul is a gripping tribute to these fighters for whom the incentives were intensely personal. Kawa (Adam Bessa), a 21-year-old police officer, barely survives a firefight. When the smoke clears he meets the men who saved his life, the Nineveh SWAT, led by Jasem (Suhail Dabbach). Kawa's own uncle was recently killed by ISIS. He joins the group, though they've been reduced to just a dozen men with three Humvees and a surplus of cigarettes. Before his first day with Nineveh SWAT is over, Kawa will witness the rescue of a child and the death of several colleagues, take revenge on a man who betrayed him, and participate in the ambush of an ISIS stronghold. Carnahan drops us right in the center of urban warfare, but also allows ...
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 26, 2020 at 11:08 AM