Review: Dynamic Duo Jake Gyllenhaal and Dar Salim Shine In ‘The Covenant’
We get the feeling Jake Gyllenhaal and Dar Salim will be best friend’s forever after co-starring in Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant.
Gyllenhaal gushed about his co-star on social media as the pair reunited to promote their new film.
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He also beamed with excitement talking to HipHollywood about his co-star and how they bonded while filming. It’s clear, the duo who form an unlikely friendship onscreen, have also forged a brotherhood in real life and their bromance is undeniable.
In the film, Gyllenhaal plays US Army Sergeant John Kinley while Salim plays Afghan interpreter Ahmed who goes to Herculean lengths to save Kinley’s life. When Kinley learns that Ahmed and his family were not given safe passage to America as promised, he must repay his debt by returning to the war zone to retrieve them before the Taliban hunts them down first.
The film isn’t your typical war saga or Guy Ritchie film. The British director known for quirky action flicks, strikes a more serious tone with The Covenant.
While delving into America’s volatile relationship with Afghanistan it also sheds light on the many Afghans who believed they’d earned Special Immigrant Visas for aiding the US only to be abandoned and left to fend for themselves.
Salim does an outstanding job playing Ahmed, a local interpreter who risks he and his families life for a chance at freedom and the American dream. We discover later he is more attached to bringing down the Taliban than he lets on.
Gyllenhaal – no stranger to war dramas — also delivers a powerful multilayered performance playing Sgt Kinley. At first we see him strong and in charge, leading his men on a search for hidden Taliban munitions and explosives factories. After his group is fatally ambushed, he morphs into wounded soldier, dipping in and out of consciousness as Ahmed drags his body across Taliban territory eventually to safety. When Gyllenhaal’s John returns home to pleasant Santa Clarita, California we see a man haunted by guilt, PTSD and an undeniable urge to return a favor.
Ritchie dips into his usual bag of tricks as Kinley returns to Afghanistan. He takes the fight sequences, bomb drops and explosives up a several notches making it your typical shoot-’em-up bang bang action flick. In the end, we however are reminded of his real message and mission. The end credits feature snapshots of real-life American soldiers and their interpreters while reminding us that more than 300 Afghan interpreters and their families have been killed by the Taliban, with thousands more in hiding.
Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant is in theaters now.
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