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Rating History

The Wall
The Wall (2017)
20 days ago via Flixster
½

Performances are fantastic, and the concept is great. Liman understands what it takes to make a one-location film, allowing a singular performance to carry the tension and provide layers to the film. The film centres on the image of a wall in the middle of the desert, a symbol of the politics that tend to feed the tragedy of war. The concept of an unseen enemy also holds a lot of weight when it comes to uncovering the emotional weight that burdens Taylor-Johnson's character as he tries to navigate the crisis he finds himself in, and as the movie goes on it contrasts this unseen enemy with the ability to hear, or dialogue with the man on the other side of the fence.

And this is the thing that the film really brings to light. One of the most pertinent questions that surfaces in the dialogue between these two figures is the idea of knowing why they are there, or what brought them there. And as a viewer this uncovers that truth that even though we "see" this American soldier and don't see the enemy on the other side of the wall, we know as little about the person that we see as we do about the one we hear. This is the nature of the wall that divides them. We are unsure of what brought either person into the war. We are unsure even if they are still at war. We are unsure of why either of them are there. Coming to understand some of these uncertainties from outside of our assumptions is a part of the process that this film invites us into.

The film has its flaws, most of them surfacing in the final moments of the film. I think it could have made a few different choices in where it takes the momentum. But it definitely manages to leave its mark.