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Movie of the week: Civil War – A journey through USA’s fractured soul

Alex Garland’s latest creation, Civil War, emerges as a gripping dystopian narrative that resonates with the raw nerves of our current societal climate. Set against the backdrop of a fractured America torn asunder by conflict,

Garland masterfully sets the stage for a tale that hits close to home. From the very opening scenes, where the President, portrayed with chilling conviction by Nick Offerman, rehearses his patriotic rhetoric, the film grips the audience with its stark portrayal of a nation teetering on the edge. As Garland deftly intertwines real-world imagery with his narrative, the audience is left to fill in the chilling gaps with their own imagination.

For those concerned that Civil War might veer too closely to contemporary politics, rest assured. Garland swiftly shifts the focus away from the divisive politics of the day to the gritty reality faced by combat journalists navigating the moral quagmire of war zones. With Texas and California joining forces against the federal government, Garland crafts a narrative devoid of ideological allegiance, where survival reigns supreme. In this war-torn landscape, expertly portrayed by a stellar cast including Kirsten Dunst and Wagner Moura, there are no heroes, only individuals driven by the relentless pursuit of their next story.

Civil War transcends the confines of a mere war movie, evolving into a gripping road trip across a fractured nation. From the desolate streets of New York to the frontlines of Charlottesville and DC, Garland paints a vivid picture of a country on the brink of collapse. The palpable tension, masterfully orchestrated by Garland, keeps audiences on the edge of their seats as our intrepid journalists navigate a world where trust is a rare commodity and danger lurks around every corner.

While Civil War excels as a suspense thriller, it occasionally stumbles in its portrayal of a world devoid of connectivity and shared reality. Questions linger about the relevance of journalism in a society stripped bare of the comforts of modernity. Yet, amidst the chaos, Garland’s unflinching portrayal of the horrors of war demands attention, serving as a sobering reminder of the fragility of civilisation.

In the end, Civil War is a thought-provoking exploration of the human condition in the face of adversity. With its blend of gripping action and poignant commentary, it stands as a testament to Garland’s prowess as a storyteller. As the film makes its debut at the SXSW festival, audiences both in the US and UK are in for an unforgettable cinematic experience come April 12th.