Lions for Lambs’ ties relationship between politicians, heroes, and students

Lions for Lambs ties relationship between politicians, heroes, and students

by Melissa FathStaff Writer

On Nov. 9, the movie “Lions For Lambs” was released into theaters with Tom Cruise starring as Senator Jasper Irving and Meryl Streep as reporter Janine Roth. The movie brings some political issues involving our country back into the Hollywood spotlight.

“Lions for Lambs” is focused around Roth’s interview with Senator Jasper Irving who is giving her an outline of his new war plan, which has already gone into effect.

This is not Roth’s first interview with Senator Irving. An article she once wrote about him for Time Magazine hangs on the wall of the Senator’s office and Roth already feels the pressure upon her to withhold her high-spoken opinion of the senator. After all, it was Janine who helped make him who he is.

The senator voices his concern of Iraq’s nuclear potential and threat to the U.S. and his belief that America should go to war. He states that “we have everything we need,” and all they need now is “the public will.”

The persistent reporter asks him, “What do we do now?”

“Whatever it takes [to win],” Irving says, confident that the U.S. must protect its honor.

This movie is not like your typical one-storyline movie. Along with the main plot of Roth’s interview with Senator Irving, the two other subplots include a professor’s meeting with a once-promising but now slacking college student, and the struggle of two soldiers, Ernest Rodriguez (Michael Peña) and Arian Finch (Derek Luke), to survive in the freezing mountaintops of Iraq. The setting of this movie switches back and forth among the three plots.

At the university, Dr. Stephen Malley (Robert Redford) lectures Todd Hayes (Andrew Garfield) in his office regarding academic progress. Hayes, once one of Malley’s best students, no longer shows the passion he once had in the classroom. Once a regular participant in classroom discussion, he’s begun to skip class on a regular basis and claims he doesn’t want to grow up to be another starched-shirt politician.

Malley tells Hayes of his own military experience and how he feels that his student could “be more and do more” by serving his country. Rodriquez and Finch decide to enlist in the military. After giving a presentation in Professor Malley’s class, they decide to show the class their letter’s for enlistment on the overhead during their presentation.

Since the U.S. never issued a draft, they believe enlisting is part of their civil duty. Enlisting with high hopes of surviving, they believe that joining in the military will broaden their future and help them become more successful.

Not long after Rodriquez and Finch enlist, they arrive in Iraq, flying above the mountaintops in the freezing weather. Soon, their plane goes under attack. Despite Rodriquez’s attempt to shoot back, their plane still crashes. Left stranded in the cold, Earnest and Arian wait for rescue. Throughout the movie, there are flashbacks to scenes of Earnest and Arian, struggling to stay alive and warm, waiting to be rescued.

“Lions for Lambs” is a thought-provoking movie that makes you think about questions you may not ask yourself everyday, such as “is it our duty as citizens to be involved in maintaining the freedom and strength of our country?” It also tackles bigger questions, including what are we doing in Iraq and the reasons behind our country being at war.

Though at times it was difficult to determine what message this movie was trying to convey, it was filmed very well and really makes you think about our country and our actions.

3/5 stars.