Mosul Movie Review – Is it worth watching?
There are certain movies, which are destined to be watched once in a blue moon, giving you that rush of emotions that you take to your bed with you. It stays for a long time in your memory, not on a daily basis, but at the back of your head, without even you realizing it. And then for your second watch, all those emotions come rushing back and serve you with a jolt of an experience.
Based on true events that had been taking place in the last few years, Mosul will take you on such a journey of emotions. The movie which goes by the city name itself ‘Mosul’, is a major city in Iraq, which has been under the control of ISIS for almost three years starting from 2014.
They were years of torture, rape, and murders that ripped apart the city, economically and structurally. Just as the events took place in reality, ‘Mosul’ is the story of the police crew from the city itself also known as the Ninevah SWAT team and their mission, wherein they attack an ISIS base.
Though only in the concluding scenes of the movie do we understand the real mission of the squad. Most part of the movie we see through the eyes of the young Kurdish police officer Kawa (Bilal Adam Bessa), who has been on job for a mere two months and is rescued by Major Jaseem(Suhail Dabbach) and his squad of Ninevah SWAT team.
The SWAT team only takes in those who have been injured or lost a family member to ISIS. Kawa who recently lost his uncle is offered a chance by Jaseem to be a part of the team, which Kawa realizes is his only chance at survival. It offers varied insight into the life of the characters, the journey, and their struggles during the civil war.
Mosul: Direction, screenplay, and story writing
Scripting action-based thriller movies are nothing new for Matthew Michael Carnahan who has played World War Z, 21 Bridges, Deepwater Horizon, and other movies of the same genre, Matt Carnahan makes his directorial debut with Mosul. Producers Anthony Russo and Joe Russo are not at all new names for action movie enthusiasts.
Especially if you are a devotee of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, wherein they directed four major films including the Avengers Infinity War and Avengers Endgame, came across an article in the New Yorker back in 2017 titled “The Desperate Battle to Destroy ISIS” which gave rise to the idea of this story also being on the silver screen and not just on the pen to paper.
The overall cinematography of the movie is exceptional, the way the camera pans out the opening scene showcasing the whole city that has been destruction just right away takes you into it.
To be able to film the movie at Mosul itself would have been the best option, but given the infrastructure and safety reasons Mosul was not ready for it, hence the whole movie was shot in Morocco which had more proficient facilities. The whole movie runs in and around the city which is a total battleground with wrecked buildings, burnt vehicles, shattered and smashed infrastructures, innocent dead bodies with blood scattered all over the place, heavy machinery and military bases, and a few more corpses to complete the whole scene.
To set up such a structure for a movie set week in week out is sublime. In such a war-based film the background and the site will acquaint the viewer with the mood of the characters and basically, the whole movie itself and Matt Carnahan has done that job exceptionally well. The roles played and the acting is both admirable.
We see Suhail Dabbach and Adam Bessa in lead roles who have done justice to their characters. Suhail Dabbach as Major Jaseem is like a father figure to the group and oh how well a father he has been to them all. He leads the team with an example, as fierce and relentless he might be, we also see his emotional sides in particular scenes. There are a couple of high intense scenes that will have you so engrossed.
One particular scene is the one that is portrayed in the trailer as well where Jaseem is seen talking to two young boys about their whereabouts so as to take them to safety. Another such scene can be found where the SWAT team trades cigarettes for bullets from the Iranian soldiers and there is a brief exchange of potent words and actions between Major Jaseem and Colonel Kaveh. The action scenes have been well choreographed, though they aren’t something that we might’ve already not seen it’s very real in its nature; and the drama is profound.
There isn’t much of a back story and the movie just gets into it, hence the same could be said about the character development, apart from the lead two or three roles we don’t see a lot of insight into the other characters. In the beginning stages of the movie a bit of randomness to the scenes can be found, like a Call Of Duty game where you just know your next target, you take them down and you move forward.
But as the climax hits and the story comes to an end, everything just fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. There isn’t anything much wrong direction wise done by Matthew Carnahan, also with the factor of the genre and storyline of a warzone, you cannot hope to expect much more from the debutant. In all it is a good watch for its genre, granting an encounter with the recent affairs.
Have you already watched Mosul? What are your thoughts on the movie? Let us know in the comment section below, and we will get back to you with amazing movies and shows. Until then, happy binge-watching. Stay safe!
Background score: 4/5
Overall ratings: 7/10