Saturday, January 24, 2015


Movie Name: Unbroken
Year of Release: 2014
Director: Angelina Jolie
Stars: Jack O'Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Takamasa Ishihara, Finn Wittrock, Jai Courtney, Vincenzo Amato, John Magaro, Luke Treadaway, Louis McIntosh, Ross Anderson, Alex Russell
Genre: Drama, War
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Angelina Jolie is back, following her successful acting job in this year's "Maleficent". "Unbroken" is her second directorial effort, and it is an adaptation of the book from Laura Hillenbrand (of the same name). The film follows the true story of Louis Zamperini, a young man, descendent from Italian immigrants, who while growing up was always up to no good, until his older brother forced him to start running track, and make him believe in his own potential. Louis becomes so good, that he eventually goes to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, where against all odds he finishes 8th due to his incredible last sprint. After enlisting in the US Army Air Corps (1941), he is deployed to the Pacific. When he and his crew are sent on a rescue mission, the plane unexpectedly crashes in the ocean, living him and two other crew members as the sole survivors (one of them eventually dies after 33 days on the rafts) - they end up surviving at sea for 47 days, upon which they get captured by the Japanese Navy. They both get sent to prisoner war camps, and Louis becomes a target for a sadistic prison guard named Watanabe, who tortures and brutalizes Louis relentlessly.
"Unbroken" is a testament to the capacity of the human spirit to overcome brutality, hunger and starvation, and torture. Louis Zamperini was a man who endured so much during his young years, through it all always holding on to his love for his family and the belief that he could cope with the most agonizing and challenging situations he could face. Angelina Jolie, following her debut feature "In the Land of Blood and Honey", creates a moving story, that though influenced by films such as David Lean's iconic "The Bridge on the River Kway" and Sidney Lumet's "The Hill", has a personality and style of its own. The film is elegantly directed and flows seamlessly - it does indeed lack in terms of a distinct and unique perspective, but it has a solidly built narrative, also anchored on the beautiful cinematography from Roger Deakins, and the fantastic performance from Jack O'Connell. The score from Alexandre Desplat is equally beautiful, tying this impeccably produced film into an overall solid and enjoyable feature. Recommended.