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August 6, 2007 | by  | in Film |
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A Mighty Heart

Michael Winterbottom is an incredible skilful director who has made great films like 24 Hour Party People and The Road to Guantanamo. A Mighty Heart is about American journalist Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and killed by a group calling itself the National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty about five years ago. Pearl was Wall Street Journal’s South Asian Bureau Chief.

Much has been said and written about the killing. Winterbottom’s A Mighty Heart is based on the 2003 memoir of the same name written by Pearl’s wife Mariane, but although it contains some insights and personal moments, it contributes very little.

Most of the film focuses on the Pakistani police search for Daniel, and Mariane’s emotional struggle thoughout these events. The police investigation is mostly montage after montage of police raids, breaking down doors, running about, shooting guns and confiscating stuff. You could very well interpret A Mighty Heart as supporting the use of such horrifying tactics.

Whatever force and substance this film has it comes from Angelina Jolie’s intense portrayal of Mariane Pearl. She has everything pinned down, from the accent, to the raw emotion and strength she shows while turmoil is unfolding before her.

It is a real pity that Jolie has wasted her best performance on such a superficial and shallow film.

MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM

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