It's hard to make a film about sufferers. Schindler's List is a movie about the Nazi Holocaust that followed the noble efforts of a German; Amistad is a movie about slavery featuring the benevolent work of white abolitionists. In this tradition of films based on historical atrocities that focus on someone not directly suffering from the struggle comes Savior. Directed by a Serb but produced by Oliver Stone, this film avoids exploring the intricacies of the Bosnian War. Instead, Savior trains its lens upon an American mercenary as his humanity and compassion are slowly reawakened in the midst of war. Guy (Dennis Quaid) ends up fighting for the Serbs after a Muslim extremist killed his wife and son in a bombing. And in his unutterable rage, blew into a Parisian mosque and gunned down its peacable, devout inhabitants. Rather than face the repercussions of his lethal tantrum, Guy joins the Foreign Legion and leaves Paris in a hurry.
After its brash beginning Savior settles down into some compelling, brutal filmmaking. Quaid is performing at par as his character undergoes the transformation from amoral sniper to sensitive father-figure ushering a child and mother to safety. Stark scenes of brutality make this a hard film to watch, although its simplified humanitarian storyline—a callous man learns to treasure life—dilutes the realities of the Bosnian War and underuses Quaid's fine acting.
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