TIFF 2015 Review: Kilo Two Bravo
When things start to go wrong in Kilo Two Bravo, they go very wrong; and there isn’t much hope of a quick and easy escape for either our heroes or the audience.
Based on the troubling true story, this British war film from Paul Katis is minute-by-minute reveal of a horrifying day in Afghanistan for a group of soldiers succumbing to a trap set before their time.
A patrol is on the move near the Kajaki Dam, soon encountering an enemy in war that is seldom if at all seen in film. They are not ambushed exactly, or beset upon by hostiles. Instead their adversary is decades old, as the group has stumbled upon a minefield laid by Russians last century.
Time comes to a screeching halt, and the tension rises dramatically when the first mine goes off and injuries one soldier. Everyone stands still and suddenly every step taken could spell instant tragedy, though not certain death. Those who misstep don’t necessarily die, but instead lose limbs and anguish in pain. They are mere feet away, but out of reach out help. Mark Stanley is tasked with portraying Paul ‘Tug’ Hartley, the medic at the centre of this massacre forced to tend to the increasing number of unfortunate soldiers.
So Katis creates an excruciatingly tough setting which to navigate and a hard film to watch. The group is stuck in a dried-out riverbed, and yet in the open environment, it’s completely claustrophobic. Katis isn’t shy about showing the horrors of war, as bloodied and dismembers soldiers lie in wait, recoiling and screaming.
A powerful and effectively unnerving look at the literal and figurative unseen horrors of war, Kilo Two Bravo is masterly-crafted, showcasing both horror and courage in a confined space, anxious minute by anxious minute.