A Mighty Heart
- Michael Winterbottom
- Reviewed by
- Josť Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl (Dan Futterman) and his pregnant wife Mariane (Angelina Jolie) traveled to Pakistan at the beginning of 2002 for him to get an interview with a religious leader with possible attachments to Al Qaeda. But he was kidnapped on his way to meeting him and both Pakistani officials and U.S. reporters worked tirelessly to find him.
Michael Winterbottom directed from a screenplay by John Orloff, based on Mariane Pearlís book. This is an abrupt departure for the director, who while being political in plenty of his movies, had never tried his hand at telling such a straightforward and realistic account of a true story. The risk paid off though, he does an admirable job in tackling such an intricate tale without taking sides or resorting to cheap melodrama.
A Mighty Heart works almost like a documentary, which is both good and bad. It is mainly about the hard job many people did to try and save one man amidst complicated international commotion. Itís somewhat difficult to keep track of all the almost unpronounceable names of cities and people that come up during the search, but the writers and director do a good job in keeping things understandable. Then again, there isnít that much emotion in the proceedings, something that makes it a cold trip.
I did admire that Mariane and her story are not sugar-coated; she is not even presented as the most likable person, much less given the circumstances. Yet it all feels true from the get-go. You know five minutes in that youíre in good hands and even if most people know the outcome of the story before going into the theater itís still an engrossing and interesting tale. To be honest I donít feel like watching the flick again, but it sure is worth checking out.
Angelina Jolie delivers an exceptional performance that isnít showy or overly emotional yet always feels right. A scene near the end will be difficult to forget, but her poise throughout the whole ordeal is admirable. The supporting cast, which includes Dan Futterman, Archie Panjabi, Irfan Khan and Will Patton among others, is flawless.
ďBut I am not terrorized, and you canít be terrorized.Ē
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