Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why the Prince Harry kidnapping film intrigues me

Oh the horror!

Actually showing the potential reality of the situation!

A first for any movie dramatizing the royal family where artistic licence is the norm.

Channel 4 in the UK is set to broadcast a film called 'The Taking of Prince Harry.' The film dramatises the third in line to the throne being kidnapped by the Taliban, 'shot with an unloaded pistol and forced to appear in Al-Qaida and Taliban propaganda videos'.

Now people are shocked, and high ranking military leaders are concerned for what it would do for morale or lest it give any terrorists ideas. The powers that be at Channel 4 have not bowed to pressure to shelve the film. Good for them.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want Harry to be harmed or kidnapped. But this is the reality when he heads over to Afghanistan to fight with his boys. The potential is always there. Or is it? A film depicting Prince Harry being kidnapped is seen as distasteful.  Is it better to dramatize the kidnapping of some other soldier provided we don't know who he/she is?

In 2008, when we saw footage of Harry in Afghanistan he was depicted in his job as a forward air controller, looking macho in camouflage while firing a machine gun, and foot patrolling a deserted Afghan town, hugging his weapon.  Yes, the photos of him were impressive. He played his role well. Certainly we should be proud that he 'walked the talk' and no question he did something to earn the medal he was awarded. But there is no way he would ever come into harms way. Guarded from birth, no one would ever let that happen. Prince Harry is a fool to think that he can fight like any other soldier. He may be fed the same food, allowed to get dirty, exposed to the elements and wear the same gear. But that's where the similarities end. Unlike his fellow soldiers, he has people who are paid to take bullets for him.

Which is why this special sounds so intriguing. What would happen if he did get kidnapped? How much would the ransom note be? Would the government *gasp* negotiate? Who would wring their royal hands more, Charles or the Queen? How would the military deal with it? How far would they go to secure Prince Harry's release? If they put the same amount of effort into rescuing him than they do for other soldiers, then maybe this film isn't so realistic after all.

I wish I could watch the film. It seems like it shows the potential reality Harry could have faced while in Afghanistan. And it faces the reality should he return there.

Maybe it's time that Clarence House did the same.

© Marilyn Braun 2010


Leslie said...

I think a dramatization of the kidnapping of a fictional character is one thing. But when you make it of a specific person, high profile or not, its in very poor taste.

Marilyn Braun said...

The royal family is dramatized all the time. Whether in good taste or not.

Again, don't get me wrong, I don't want him to come to any harm. But in this case, I think it's a good way to illustrate the danger he faces, the reality of it. Which in all honesty I think is glossed over by Clarence House.