Sunday, December 28, 2014
My best friend Diane and I often talk about wanting to have more grit. We tend to be more or less hothouse flowers and don't thrive well under adversity. But few people in the world have the kind of grit displayed in UNBROKEN directed by Angelina Jolie. The movie chronicles the life of Jolie's recently deceased neighbor and Olympian/war hero Louis "Louie" Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII - only to be caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
Along side Zamperini there are many other American prisoners surviving the cruel and harsh treatment expected when being held in a POW camp; the difference being those other soldiers did not catch the eye of the "The Bird" (Takamasa Ishihara - better known by his rock star stage name Miyavi). Ishihara plays this brutal war camp general with frightening earnestness and a deceivingly innocent countenance. The Bird was a factual Imperial Japanese Army sergeant (Mutsuhiro Watanabe) in World War II who served at POW camps inŌfuna, Naoetsu. In the movie, day 1, The Bird catches Zamperini looking at him, which just consumes him with rage, why? He just seems to see something in Zamperini's eyes - a light, a strength, a determination, whatever it is - it drives The Bird to wanna torture it out of Zamperini and he makes him his target, while simultaneously admiring his spirit.
|Interview with Angelina Jolie by Nick Zaccardi NBC OlympicTalk READ MORE|
Unbroken is meant to teach us life lessons of resilience, perseverance and adopting a never say die attitude, but by the end, I just felt completely broken and wished I had not subjected myself to seeing the movie. Wartime dramas can be tough no matter what, but Angelina Jolie has directed a film with no let up on the grueling physical and mental anguish that Zamperini experienced. I think if Unbroken cut out a few days at sea and a couple of beatings and instead we got to see Louis come back from the war, overcome PTSD and become the man who eventually got the opportunity to travel back to Japan forgive his captors and carry an Olympic torch right passed the area where he had been held captive, that would have relieved some of the misery for me. The ending credits include actual photographs of Louis after the war with his wife and accomplishments, but I would have much preferred to see it played out on screen through his character -
T &T's LAMB Score: 2.5 outta 5 - Le Anne Lindsay, Editor
While You're Here Check OutTinsel & Tine's post on Angelina Jolie's directorial debut - In the Land of Blood and Honey
Kinyarwanda (guess I did make another war movie exception) where Tutsi and Hutu's destroyed one another out of what seemed like just a notion that they were different and enemies...READ POST
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— Tinsel & Tine (@tinseltine) January 4, 2015
Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog