Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Old Knudsen Reviews 71

71 is a movie about the Troubles in Northern Ireland. To give you a brief understanding of the Troubles it was Protestant against Catholic, the Prods getting all the opportunities, education and more than one vote if you owned property while the Taigs were discriminated against with no chance of a future.

There have been riots and fighting for the past 100 years but in the 60's the Catholics got together to demand human rights, their various marches were attacked and when the police are Protestant friendly ... well you can guess where that goes. In 1969 the British government sent in troops to protect the Catholics from the mean Protestants but ended up getting attacked from both sides.  

The troops ended up siding with the Protestants and the police and so began the Troubles, 30 years of civil war and terrorism that continues in a milder form today.

  Give me back that rifle that is fitted with walnut furniture while mine has the Maranyl stock and grip. Two different models in one unit? The Maranyl wasn't even used then.

Young Gary Hook is an English soldier who rather than getting sent to Germany but got sent to Northern Ireland. His unit while in Belfast is briefed that East Belfast is Loyalist which is friendly and the west is Republican and is hostile. In reality both sides are hostile but Loyalists will work with the soldiers and police. Both sides have their terrorist gangs who are not big thinkers. 

They are told that the Divis flats are a Republican stronghold and to NEVER go near there. Yeah you guessed it he ends up there. 

 The Loyalist gang UDA out on patrol with their military spec bin lids .... lol!

The officer in charge of Hook's unit is a noob and his seasoned NCO's didn't take him to the side like they would have done in real life. While out harassing the Fenians Hook gets separated from his unit and goes on the run through the Catholic areas . 

The Troubles were a depressing time when many grew desensitized to suffering and accepted it as a way of life, much like Palestine and Israel, it's easier to demonize and hate the other side than live together in peace.

Not to spoil the movie 71, it was tense and dramatic but the characters were bleh just bodies to fill the purpose of the story. I had read that it was filmed in Scotland but no, it was shot in the north of England as they have depressing terrace houses that can double for Belfast. You can shoot Game of thrones in Northern Ireland but put a load of British soldiers onto the streets and people have flashbacks and complain. 

Jack O'Connell spends the whole movie looking confused and scared, can't blame him he's the unluckiest soldier ever! Welcome to Belfast.

The film covers the hostile tribal nature of the Troubles with a 10 year-old threatening grown ups because his uncle is a big mawn in the paramilitaries. The English soldiers are in a completely different world than what they are used to and the police are just heavy handed thugs. 

The over all theme is that Private Hook, like all the other soldiers and terrorists are just pawns that mean nothing which is why he nearly gets killed by all sides cos you cannot trust anyone and your life doesn't matter.

A 1971 L1A1 Self Loading Rifle as used right up to just before 1990. A fine powerful weapon.  

It's a decent movie and was interesting to see the 70's again and besides using the wrong rifles (with the pebbled Maranyl grips) the army training was oh so familiar. The useless flak jackets remained useless with rubber blocks getting fitted up near to the shoulder, you made the vow to yerself that the jacket would be the first thing to come off if you got into a fire fight as it got in yer way to fire yer rifle. The SLR was a heavy powerful rifle and needed to be held properly unlike the 9mm sub machine gun which was a nice wee toy.  

Getting stoned (not in a cool way) while getting transported in the back of a 4-tonne truck was a usual occurrence, no wonder the Brits from England were nervous wreaks. Some parts of the military bases in Belfast you were advised not to walk as those angles could be seen by snipers on the outside. 

Old Knudsen served because it was stupid to hate someone for what they were (Protestant or Catholic) and saw people as good or bad guys no matter the side. So many wrongs were done before and during the Troubles and this movie shows a few.  


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