Published on February 25th, 2009 | by Chris0
Beaufort puts us in the middle of a conflict not many of us on this side of the planet really know much about, or understand for that matter. Set in 1990 during the Israeli-Lebanon war in the border outpost of Beaufort, which the Israeli's are preparing to abandon, and thus destroy, after holding it for 18 years.
Truthfully, I have my suspicions that if I had grown up in the midst of this conflict I might understand Beaufort a little, OK, a lot more. This really isn't your typical war movie per se, but rather a look at the people holed up in this underground fortress, and how they deal with it, mostly our main character, the squad leader Liraz (Oshri Cohen.)
If there was ever a film which showed the entire military concept of "hurry up and wait" this would be it. The entire picture seems to embody this concept. Periodically the outpost is shelled, as the guy on the loudspeaker seems bored to tears announcing "Incoming!" and "Impact!" The game changes, though, as they start getting attacked by much more accurate rocket fire, and the men start dying because of it.
The pointlessness of it all is quite apparent also, as Liraz starts to question his purpose as they rig the entire place for demoliton. 18 years of holding the fortress only to destroy it. The lives of all his men lost for apparently nothing. It's a common war movie theme, that really hits home here.
But good grief its incredibly dull. I wasn't really expecting it to be so, but the 126 minute run time seems to last bloody forever, as Liraz and his men sit hunkered below discussing all manner of subjects, from their life on the outside, to what their next job is.... Like I said, maybe its a matter of perspective, I don't know.
Nobody really stands out as putting on an excellent performance either. Everyone seems equally dulled, jaded, and downtrodden, which they rightly should be, but by the end, well, see the last paragraph.
Beaufort might provide a unique perspective on a war most of us only hear about briefly on the evening news, but unless you're really interested, I would just not bother. The movie is also entirely in Hebrew with subtitles... FYI.
I viewed Beaufort via Netflix's Instant Watch on my new Roku Netflix player, and was fairly pleased with the presentation, but as such didn't get any extras that might have been on the disc. It was also in 16:9 aspect ratio on the player, but the trailer looks like it may have been a full 2.35:1... Hard to say.
Summary: Beaufort might provide a unique perspective on a war most of us only hear about briefly on the evening news, but unless you're really interested, I would just not bother.