I gotta admit, I had no desire whatsoever to see United 93 when it came out. I really am unsure I even want to be writing about it now cause what can you say about those events that the film attempts to show. Last night, however, I did finally watch it.
I don't know what changed in my mind from the time the film hit theaters to a few weeks ago when I decided that I would take the two hours (though it turned out to be longer) to watch the film. Part of it had to be hearing admiration for the film, if that's even the right word, from people whose tastes I respect. Another part of it probably had to do with it being directed by Paul Greengrass who I thought did a fantastic job with Bloody Sunday a few years back.
I am glad that I watched it at home, on my own. I don't imagine I would have taken well to seeing it in the theater, beside some stranger chomping on popcorn or goobers. Or talking through the film, or giving political commentary through the film. Watching it at home also allowed me to pause the film 3 or 4 times as I was just gathering myself. I do think that Greengrass again did a great job, despite some websites calling hsi effort "a very special episode of 24." The images that were shown did not seem in anyway an attempt at shock or jingoism as I worried about and many of my friends worried about.
Whether or not the film is a cathartic experience as some reviews have said I guess would depend entirely on the viewer. I don't know if it was entirely cathartic for me, and I don't know whether thats what I wou;d have wanted it to be or what I was searching for either. In the end though, I didn't find the film distasteful as I initially feared it would be and it is a film I will never forget seeing. And at the same time one I would likely not watch again, and wonder if I would even reccomend it.