‘Lone Survivor’ brings heart into a gruesome story of war

The film “Lone Survivor” is currently the number one movie in the nation and audiences have been packing the theaters to experience the first-hand account of the deadly survival story of local hero and Sam Houston State University alumnus Marcus Luttrell.

The film is based on Luttrell’s memoir, “Lone Survivor,” and translates into a live action story of a failed Navy SEAL team’s mission to capture and kill the abhorrent Taliban leader Ahmad Shah.

Even before stepping into the theater, the ending can be deduced from the title. Luttrell was the only one to make it out alive.

The movie’s director, Peter Berg, is able to take viewers inside the tight-knit Navy SEAL 10 team as they scout through the mountains of Afghanistan and shed light on the humanity of the four individuals within the team, including Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch) and Matt Axelson (Ben Foster).

The actors come together and exude a chemistry that makes the characters believable. They play off of each other’s ability to act as individuals who have transitioned from colleagues into an unbreakable brotherhood. They portray the men not just as soldiers, but as individuals with everyday concerns such as family, wives, children, dreams and hopes for a future that will never come.

This very personal portrayal of the men’s lives outside of the Navy plays heavily later in the film when they are being horrifically ambushed by 100 plus Taliban fighters and have nothing to hold onto except their fading memories of home.

Viewers were taken deep into the lives of the soldiers and their families.

“What got to me was watching them dying and thinking about their families back home and how they would never see them again,” SHSU senior Roxanne Gordon said.

The firefight scene is what sets this film apart from other military movies. According to ABC News, Luttrell worked alongside Berg to ensure the scenes were true to life. Together, they were able to accurately reproduce the reality of battle.

“It was so intense that I had to shut my eyes to keep myself from crying,” SHSU junior Jacqueline Franklin said.

However, the real struggle of the protagonist does not began until after the ambush is over. Luttrell, gruesomely injured with a broken back and countless other wounds, had to find a way to survive and get back home.

He crawled through the unknown landscape until being found and sheltered by local Pashtan villagers who risked their own lives against the wrath of the Taliban. This heartwarming and critical turning point in the plot helps break the stereotype that all Muslims are terrorists.

He is eventually rescued with the help of the Afghan villagers and is able to make out alive.

After the last scene plays out, the audience sat in shock, contemplating what they had just endured: real life footage of the four brave individuals begin to play. The actuality of the events sinks further into the viewers’ minds as they get a glimpse of who the soldiers were before that fateful day.

The movie is projected to sweep the box office once again for a second week and continues to garner raving reviews.

“Lone Survivor” is not a film to be missed. It will continue to bring perspective on what the men and women who fight for our country face every day as they head into the unknown.

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