The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty: Language Essay

The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty: Language Essay

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How do Kathryn Bigelow’s films The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty use language to portray the life of combatants in a battle?
Kathryn Bigelow is one of the most iconic directors of the modern era. Her sense of depicting language remains unopposed. She mainly directs films of the war genre. Several of her works have been greatly appreciated, such as The Weight of Water, The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, etc. These have won her several awards and secured her place as one of the most influential directors of all time.
The Hurt Locker is a slow paced film. Most of the scenes have been deeply elaborated with excessive portrayal on the character’s expression. Set during Iraq War, it illustrates the lives of three soldiers who have the most terrifyingly dangerous jobs in the world – working in a bomb disposal squad. They risk their lives every day to provide safety to the society they are aiding. It is an extremely harsh and touching film, which depicts the message that when you love something and keeping repeating it, it becomes an obsession and you cannot live without it. Most of the characters in the film can be interconnected to the actors where he/she have an unsafe passion. There are several metaphors buried in each scene which, when examined carefully, reveal the political meaning.

The lead character of The Hurt Locker, Sergeant First Class William James, is, metaphorically, a character representation of America, often putting him and his team members in harm’s way. He treats his disastrous job as his routinely desire. His exposition takes place at 11:04 minutes, where he is newly accommodated. The shot begins with a close up of his face covered the outside of his arms, a cigarette between his fingers and an evident listene...


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...er a group of children who throw stones at their vehicles. A wide shot is provided to accentuate upon importance of Eldridge and how he protected the group without ever demanding any acclaim. After his service, James returns home to his wife and son. He is not always able to convince Connie to like his job as bomb technician. However, he says to his son that one day things that seem special to him might not seem special to him anymore. He confesses that he only loves one thing in the world, and cannot spend his life if filled with boredom. He returns to the army with his role as a bomb technician. This again has a direct link to the opening quote.
On the other hand, Zero Dark Thirty is relatively a fast paced film, depicting the account of the man-hunt of Osama Bin Laden.



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"The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug."

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