Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

10 March 2008

A Mighty Heart, dir. Michael Winterbottom (2007)

NIKKI says:
I knew little about Daniel Pearl and his wife before this film. Their story is tragic, and the events leading to the eventual revelation that Daniel had been murdered by a Pakistani terrorist group are truly harrowing.

I have a measure of understanding as far as Mariane Pearl's desire not to feel "terrorized" following the event, but I don't know if I'd have that kind of strength.

The film is really a recreation of FBI and Pakistani police pursuits, looking for Pearl's kidnappers, and looking to free him. This is suspenseful even though the outcome is well-known. It's horrifying to watch these men as their hopes build and fall at various moments throughout their search. And when Pearl's fate is revealed, it's testament to this film's storytelling that we are shocked, and that we do relive the insurmountable pain with Mariane.

So, it is harrowing, but it's a fascinating story of Westerners caught in this strange, "other" world of extremist violence.


STEVE says:
I'd like to take a moment and speak to everyone who ever employed the hand held camera technique: Stop It, Please.

I know the idea is to make it fell gritty and real, like You Are There, but unless you're making a documentary, most of the time your editing lets you down because, hey, real life does not cut to a close-up. It's distracting. Granted, it's worse in mockumentaries - like in The Office, when the scene continuously cuts back and forth over the shoulders of two people without ever revealing either cameraman. And how many cameras do you need to shoot a scene in a 6x8 office, anyway?

A Mighty Heart was an excellent movie, and I was glad it focused more on the investigation into Daniel Pearl's disappearance than the aftermath. But there were times that the hand held "documentary" feel would pull me out of the movie and back to reality. And that's not something you want to happen with such an engrossing story.


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