Essential Killing adopts the adage of ‘run to live, kill to survive’. It is the story of a man, stranded in a frozen forest; looking for a way back to his desert homeland.
This tale revolves around the life of a man taken captive by foreign forces, who attempts to flee an unknown country on his own. The protagonist, who is an Afghan national, is taken into custody by American soldiers. He is later deported to an unknown country for interrogation. Sensing his fast approaching end, he manages to escape from the clutches of his keepers and enters the world of frozen woodland, which knows no bounds. On the run, he comes to know that he is in Europe. As the story develops, he has to walk through dead bodies of people, who attempted to kill him. Chased by the forces that are trained to kill, this ordinary man turns into a killer to protect himself.
This is a story about a man guided by his survival instincts, having no option other than killing everyone who crosses his path. A factor that makes this movie more appealing is that, it is as close to reality as possible. The thriller is well-woven with the plot itself, and captures the attention of the audience from the very start till the last scene. A man, fallen prey to political unrest and at the mercy of ruthless pursuers; this man must find a way out of this frozen land, which may engulf him forever.
Essential Killing is one such thriller movie that has certainly reiterated the old saying: ‘desperate situation needs desperate measure’. The ferocious side of Mohammed (Vincent Gallo) is justified by the fact that he has to fight the battle of survival, after escaping the US prison. What I liked about the movie is that it succeeded to portray the condition of a convicted Taliban member, in the center of the unknown European forest.
The violence in the movie is in apt proportion, given the fact that the movie emphasizes on the importance of life more than death. It never appeared that the narrative has been exaggerated. The action sequences in Essential Killing have managed to sustain its effect throughout. Solid plot, as well as characterization, makes it class apart.