BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK - EVERYBODY WANTS A PIECE
19-year-old Billy Lynn is brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle. Through flashbacks the film shows what really happened to his squad - contrasting the realities of war with America's perceptions. What is Ang Lee’s latest film really about? Andrew L. Urban reports.
According to American writer Sean Russell, “If there’s a central theme to Billy Lynn the one that screams out most is exploitation. The army exploits the boys for recruiting, Hollywood exploits them for film rights, Fox News exploits them for their actions for ratings, a preacher exploits to expand his religious flock, Texans exploit them to validate their political belief systems, and later for film rights. The whole time Billy Lynn is being overwhelmed by big football, he struggles with his voicelessness.”
The film is adapted from Ben Fountain’s award winning 2012 best selling novel about Bravo Squad and its seven surviving members who return to the US as heroes. They are sent on a victory tour to bolster the war effort and help recruitment. They are special guests of the Dallas Cowboys for their Thanksgiving game, and are to make an appearance during the halftime show with the three-girl black band, Destiny’s Child. But the squad has still to return to Iraq for another tour of duty …
Ang Lee has gathered an unusual mix of stars for the film, from Kristen Stewart to Chris Tucker, Steve Martin to Vin Diesel … and he used new technology, shooting at an ultra-high frame rate for the first time in film history, to create an immersive digital experience helping him dramatize war in a way never seen before.