Oct 312007

A MIghty HeartThe film is based on Marianne Pearl’s account of the terrifying and unforgettable story of her husband, Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl’s life and death.

Michael Winterbottom

History, Drama, Thriller

Dan Futterman, Angelina Jolie, Archie Panjabi, Mohammed Afzal, Mushtaq Khan, Daud Khan, Telal Saeed, Arif Khan, Tipu Taheer, Amit Dhawan, Saira Khan, Aliya Khan

This is a well known story, so that makes it tough for a writer and director to keep the audience engaged. I think Winterbottom did this by using actual footage from the time, and shooting in a hand-held style with lots of cut-ins. The flashbacks could be a bit disconcerting, but added to the story.

Lay was disappointed that it was more about his wife than Daniel Pearl, but as I explained, we saw all there was to see about what happened to Pearl. We really don’t know what he experienced during his captivity. We did see what lead up to it, and then what was going on in the efforts to find him. Angelina Jolie’s persona is nonexistent as she is fully taken over by Marianne Pearl. Her accent is impeccable, especially watching scenes where emotions take over. She embodied the strength that allowed Pearl to deal with the days and weeks desperately seeking answers. It all culminates in a heart-wrenching moment of grief and release of all the feelings she refused to let take over until absolutely necessary. I was completely impressed by her performance.

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