Movies based on real tragedies, when they are just a retelling and not a complete fiction based around real events, tend to be controversial. On one hand there are those who may be familiar with the story and they learn something, and then on the other there are those who already know how the story ends thanks to the news. Then one must ponder, how is making a movie about such a tragedy going to be entertainment? When A Mighty Heart was released I did not figure I would watch it, because I already knew the ending and such a journey would surely be depressing and uninteresting. However, the Dvd ended up in my player regardless of my protests.
A Mighty Heart was directed by Michael Winterbottom and stars Angelina Jolie and Dan Futterman. It tells the story of Mariane Pearl, wife to Daniel Pearl, a Jewish reporter who was abducted by terrorists.
The controversy for this film doesn’t tend to swirl around whether or not the tale has entertainment value, but how the filmmakers went about creating the story. Angelina Jolie, an obvious white woman, is put into make-up to make her appear to be a woman of more color. This of course has set off verbal accusations of racism, why have a white woman play a colored role? Why not just hire a actress closer to the ethnic mixture of the real woman and give her a shot? However, such protests towards the film fall short when thinking business-wise, considering Angelina Jolie is a very bankable name, why not put her in tan makeup? She does a fine job with the role, no complaints on her acting from me.
Others like to say they have no sympathy for Pearl and the characters since he was a Jewish man in an area he knew would be dangerous for Jewish people to be in, yet he took his family there.
I was wrong to assume the movie would be a fully boring drama. The processes shown in which the government officials work in order to try and find Perl is interesting. All of the supporting cast do a fine job and my interest was held throughout. Once the end comes around, however, Jolie’s more dramatic parts ala bid for an Oscar, lose much of their impact sense I knew they were coming. The news and real life already had the outcome of the film ruined and the journey was doomed from the get-go to get depressing.
However, the question overall with this film is whether or not the story of Mariane Pearl is captivating enough, inspiring enough, and just overall worthy of needing a film. The project was handled quite solidly from my viewpoint. A Mighty Heart takes a news story and tragic event from reality and gives us a bit more perspective into the lives of those who were involved with looking for him and the family hoping against hope for his safe return.
If you are in the mood for a solid drama with enough intrigue to help the flow of the content along, A Mighty Heart isn’t too bad at all.