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The Situation

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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(Jul 31, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Part romantic thriller, part political drama, THE SITUATION is the first U.S. feature film to confront America’s occupation in the Middle East, exploring one of the countless stories hidden behind the headlines of the "War on Terror" directed by Oscar®-nominee Philip Haas (Angels & Insects). When Anna (Connie Nielsen), an American journalist, travels to Iraq to report on the conflict, she quickly becomes familiar with the grim day-to-day realities of the conflict. After an Iraqi leader and friend is assassinated, she is determined to uncover the truth behind his death. As she becomes more entrenched, Anna finds herself pulled between the affections of Dan (Damian Lewis), an American intelligence official and Zaid (Mido Hamada), a photographer. After the death of an Iraqi boy at the hands of American soldiers sets off a perilous chain of events that exposes corrupt associations, blurs the lines of justice, and ultimately leads Anna into grave danger.

Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer
  • Filmmaker biography

Product Details

  • Actors: Connie Nielsen, Damian Lewis, Mido Hamada, Driss Roukhe, Nasser Memarzia
  • Directors: Philip Haas
  • Writers: Wendell Steavenson
  • Producers: Khalil Lougmani, Liaquat Ahamed, Michael Sternberg, Neda Armian
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Video Group
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2007
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PY52I6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,580 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Situation" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Originally released as being one of the first movies to tackle the complexity of the Iraq War, The Situation delivers as it attempts to show the problems through a myriad of viewpoints. Connie Nielsen plays the lead female role as a journalist who has obviously spent too much time in Iraq. There are a lot of different threads running throughout the movie as she investigates the deaths of a young Iraqi boy who is thrown off a bridge by American soldiers. Then the movie proceeds to connect the dots surrounding this horrible incident. Apparently, the boy is from a village ruled by a corrupt chief. One of his henchmen wants to marry the daughter of a man who is not only one of the few decent characters in the movie, but also Nielsen's informant, and he has also has attracted the attention of an American CIA operative convincingly played by Damian Lewis. The latter wants to work with the informant because he is probably the key to establishing stability in that particular area. Lewis's character is admirable. Besides being the boyfriend/lover of Nielsen, he is trying to improve the quality of life in Iraq (Thus winning the hearts and minds of the people.) by any means necessary, but is thwarted by the Army, the State Department, the Iraqis and his own staff.

Meanwhile Nielsen chases the story along with a photographer who is a Christian Iraqi and the son of a once prominent Iraqi. When Nielsen's informant/friend is murdered, she seeks revenge by doing "one more story." This leads her to eventually meet the head terrorist who is feared by the corrupt chief. Unfortunately, the meeting sets of a chain reaction that leads to more violence and mayhem. It is a complex story that never mentions issues between the Shiites and the Sunnis, but there is a mutual hatred towards the Kurds.
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Format: DVD
THE SITUATION is an eye-opener for the general public who have been kept guessing as to what is happening in the Iraqi War by the edited reporting in the media. It has all the markings and possibilities of a significant statement movie, but unfortunately the seemingly sound script (Wendell Steavenson) and the solid acting are all but lost by the engineers who allowed the dialog to be inaudible: not only is the ambient sound in a war-torn country not controlled by the Dolby process, but the insipid music score covers what free space there might have been for us to hear what the characters are saying. For lip readers the story might make sense, but for other viewers it is a tough uphill fight.

Anna (Connie Nielsen) is a journalist sent to cover the war to send home to the public a realistic view of what is happening in Iraq. She is aided by friendly Iraqis such as Rafeeq (Nasser Memarzia) and informed of American crimes against Iraqis and becomes involved in a dangerous journalistic mission, one that gives many insights into all of the aspects of the Iraqi conflict. She finds love with two men, a CIA operative Dan Murphy (Damian Lewis) who represents the idealistic vision of helping supply the country with medical assistance, and an Iraqi photographer Zaid (Mido Hamada) whose gentle spirit and warm support win Anna's respect, and the love triangle comes into strident focus when the forces involved in espionage clash in a climatic conflict while Anna is held hostage.

Thankfully, the Arabic conversations are accompanied by subtitles and the audience is thus more able to understand the Iraqi side of the story than the inaudible English spoken dialog apparently explaining the American aspects.
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Format: DVD

Topicality and immediacy are the primary attributes of "The Situation," an otherwise uneven drama based on the real life experiences of an Anglo-American journalist stationed in war-torn Iraq (the film was actually shot in Morocco).

Using her own eyewitness observations as inspiration, first-time screenwriter Wendell Steavenson has crafted a tale of intrigue and romance, played out amidst the bloodshed and chaos that have wracked that nation since the war began in March 2003. The journalist (named Anna Molyneux in the movie) travels around the countryside chronicling the numerous atrocities that have arisen as a result of the tensions that exist among the nation's various sects and parties as well as between the Iraqis and the American forces stationed on their soil. There are any number of shocking, heartbreaking moments scattered throughout the film, moments that illustrate with brilliant clarity the brutal facts of existence in a war-torn setting.

As a movie, however, "The Situation" often comes across as amateurish and awkward, with many of the actors seemingly not quite up to the task of inhabiting the roles they've been assigned to play (although, in all fairness, director Phillip Haas should be forced to shoulder a significant share of the blame for this as well). The plotting is frequently stuffed to bursting, with far too many situations and characters vying for attention at any given moment and with romantic subplots gumming up the works unnecessarily. It's one thing to capture the messiness and confusion of a wartime situation for dramatic and thematic effect; it's quite another to confuse the audience through sheer incompetent storytelling.
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