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‘Battle for Afghanistan’ review: Unintentionally topical movie shows chaos of war

Straight from today’s headlines.

Battle for Afghanistan is another in a rash of movies that have become unintentionally topical. In this case it is not a global pandemic but just a setting that seems ripped out of the headlines, but it is still shocking. The film is set during the end of the Soviet-Afghan war. The USSR has begun to withdraw their troops. But after the General’s son is shot down and captured, the 108th Motor Rifle Division has one more mission before they can return home.

The film is written in an interesting way that mimics the chaos of war. Everything moves at a breakneck speech and scenes move along to the next one before the previous has seemed to finish. Battle for Afghanistan can be confusing at times, but the settings are not the type of moments that allow people to stop and catch their breath. The haphazard atmosphere lets the audience know what the characters are going through.

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As expected, the Russians are painted in a positive light. More surprising is how the Afghans are portrayed. It would be easy to treat them as props to the main plot, but they are given some characterization. There is little to them, but it is still refreshing to see. Since Battle for Afghanistan was inspired by memoirs it comes as no surprise the film has a documentary-like feel to it. This also adds to the frenzy of everything that is happening. It is more of a document of events than a story. This will make the less than solid writing easier to forgive for some.

The movie will appeal to those who enjoy hearing about recent history. Fans of war movies should also be able to get some enjoyment out of it, but there will be little new to see aside from it being told from the Russian side of things. It is a fine movie, but it is hard to shake the feeling that is has nothing new to say.


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