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Film Review: “Unbroken” (2014)


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There are so many films based on true stories, and each of them, no doubt, deserves our attention. This is why it is so important to see another one, a strong Oscar contender, directed by Angelina Jolie- Unbroken, which tells a story of survival, resilience, atonement, and forgiveness. But all the things mentioned above would mean nothing if the person who had to go through this living hell every single day, could not be broken. Here is the shockingly, fascinating story of Louis Zamperini.

Louis Zamperini (Jack O`Connell) is an Olympian athlete who, as many others, joins World War II to fight and protect his country from the enemy. But, what happens next to Louis turns out to be the most difficult challenge in his life. He is taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II and is beaten almost every day for his courage to stand up to Japanese Sergeant, Miyavi (Takamasa Ishihara). This is a chronicle of the life of Louis, who had to run one of the most important laps in his life, to fight against his own fear and pain, in order to make it through the hell, that he went through every day during his imprisonment.

Unbroken begins with its hero, Louis, in the air, while he is on a military mission. But as soon as life- threatening danger comes, the film takes us back to Louis`s childhood, where his brother, Pete (John D`Leo) is training him to run faster as he gets ready for his first tournament. And then the film brings us back to where Louis is left to survive in impossible conditions. Although, the bigger danger is yet to come, when Louis`s plane crashes into the Pacific ocean during his rescue mission, where he must spend another 47 days on a raft in shark-infested waters. Then, he and his friend, Russel (Domhnall Gleeson) are picked up by the Japanese, where they are taken to the brutal prison camps.

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It`s really hard to pick which moment or which scene was the most intriguing or moving; they will leave you absolutely speechless. Will you believe me if I say that the chronicle of time when Louis had to spend his next two years in prison was the most terrifying? I bet ‘no’. But what about the scenes where Louis floated on a raft in the Pacific Ocean with no chance of survival? Believe it or not, Unbroken is one of those films where you, as an audience, will be left alone to  see, feel, experience the pain, suffer, and struggle  with this Olympian athlete throughout the film –  from the beginning till the end.

Despite all the inhumane torment that the Olympian runner had been through, he somehow finds the strength to not give up, to not allow Miyavi to break him, and remains strong in unreal conditions where others would have given up long ago. What makes this film so incredibly painful to watch is the reality that has been created by Angelina Jolie, who, with her skill and ability to study the human condition and all of its aspects, brings to life this fascinating story of survival about the courage of a man whose story will certainly never be forgotten.

It is truly amazing to see how Angelina Jolie advances from being an actor to an impressively talented director, who not only wants to direct a film with a simple story, but rather to tell a very important story, which is educational for all of us, and maybe for the next generation as well. Jolie makes this film astonishingly beautiful and directs in a way that you can feel everything Zamperini is going through. Jack O`Connell and Domhnall Gleeson are at their best, and O`Connell even loses about 40 pounds to show how skinny Zamperini was during his time on the raft.

In conclusion, Unbroken is a powerful, and absolutely outstanding, film with a terrific cast that delivers their finest to make Unbroken one of the best films of the decade. Unbroken is one of those films that will have the audience wiping away their tears even after the film has ended. But, what is important in Jolie`s film is that it shows us that no matter how destructive war is, it still can`t, never could, and will never be able to break a human beings spirit, because human beings will fight till the end to avenge war by remaining alive. And, then they will forgive, because forgiveness is one of the most important human qualities that war will never be able to destroy.

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About Ulkar Alakbarova (1119 Articles)
My name is Ulkar Alakbarova. A wonderful name, is it not? I come from the exotic land of Azerbaijan but now I live in the hub of Hollywood North – Toronto, Canada. How lucky I am to be able to enjoy and indulge in my favourite avocation of watching movies. Movies of every genre are screened here in Toronto. There are black and white classics, avant garde, independently produced, and of course, newly released movies for all to enjoy. Let me share this treasure of entertainment with you. Read my thoughts and opinions then let me know if you agree.

3 Comments on Film Review: “Unbroken” (2014)

  1. Nice review but I’m still not sure if I want to see this. It looks very overly dramatic. We’ll see.

  2. Я смотрел его и скаждым моментом все думал что он всетаки умрет или его убьют. Захватываюший спокойный фильм мне понравился

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