Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Mighty Heart

It's been a while since I've sat down and taken in a movie in my home. It seems like every night I am gone until 8pm, then frantically making dinner and then hitting the sack, exhausted. I've been working a lot and I have a paper to write soon, so I am looking forward to having some "down time" writing instead of running around with my head cut off. But I digress. I am a reader of Glamour magazine, which has been running articles by Mariane Pearl, the wife of Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal journalist who was brutally murdered by Islamic extremists in Pakistan in 2002. Mariane Pearl has been traveling around the world to illustrate strong women in cultures and countries around the world. She began her series by writing about her mother, and I have never forgotten that article. It was very beautifully written and really illustrated her mother's personality, so much so, that I feel like she is a character I knew at some point. Mariane Pearl has impressed me with her strength, her conviction, her empathy and her outlook on life. Anyone could go through what she went through and come out a hate-filled, bitter person, yet she came out of it shining like a ray of sunshine. It was with some trepidation that I rented the film A Mighty Heart starring Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl and Dan Futterman as Danny Pearl. I knew that I wanted to see it, but we all know how it ends, so it is a hard film to watch. However, this film was brilliant and I highly recommend it.
The film takes place mostly in Karachi, Pakistan. I believe it was actually filmed in India, but the scenery is breathtaking. Anyone who has been to India or Pakistan will be taken immediately back to that place. It is dirty, gritty, overpopulated, goats and sheep wander the streets and smoke hangs in the air. The movie is filmed in a way that you almost smell the pollution, you almost taste the smoke, you almost smell the sweat. The sounds on the streets and in the air are emphasized, really beautiful cinematography. Angelina Jolie is brilliant. I did not once think it was her; I always felt she was Mariane. She truly is an amazing actress. The supporting cast is well balanced, and Mariane's friend Asra, played by Archie Panjabi, especially stands out. The movie is about Danny's kidnapping and the aftermath. The wait for a contact, the desperate search for his captors, the hunt for his hiding place, the international press madness, Mariane's stalwart strength and stoicism. This movie is about regular life in a another country, the daily quest for survival, the uncertainty, the love of two people, their love for the job of journalism. This movie is terribly sad, but riveting. And definitely worth a watch. You will not be disappointed.

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