Bifocal Reviews: Unbroken Movie


Unbroken Movie

Unbroken Movie: Bifocal Reviews by Ageless1der Barbara Rich & The Other Guy

(BR) I think it was necessary and important that the story behind the film Unbroken be told, even though this is not a movie that I can say I enjoyed. Louie Zamperini’s display of courage and exceptional fortitude powered him through the most grueling tortures, and helped him overcome a series of trials, any one of which would have been enough for a story. I hurried home to investigate this remarkable man, only to find that his post war experiences were equally traumatic (probably a reasonable sequel). I am amazed that this man could have gone through a life such as his and lived past the age of forty…let alone his actual age of ninety-seven. Perhaps it was his mother’s famous gnocchi—a pasta dish his character mentions many times throughout the film—that attributes to his longevity. In case you haven’t guessed, Zamperini is an Italian name. All the actors’ performances were well done. If you have the stomach for atrocities, this is a film worth seeing. I give this one 3 ½ binoculars.

(GR) To the critics who say that the real story of Louie Zamperini’s redemption was not done justice in the Jolie film, because a religious perspective is not given enough credit for his survival, and his post-war story is only implied, I say…give it a rest. If a rise from alcoholism, trauma and hatred AFTER the events depicted in this film is the story you want to see made from the book, then produce another movie. If the seemingly endless parade of insurmountable obstacles that IS in Unbroken, did not satisfy you, then I think there might be some other motive for your negativity. Some critics say that Jolie didn’t put in the best part of the story (according to the detractors, not me) because she did not highlight the years of alcoholism, anger and trauma that eventually ended in Zamperini’s forgiving his captors. I wholeheartedly believe that his being able to forgive his captors brutality is very worthy of recognition; otherwise it would not have been in the book, and let’s be fair, these facts are noted at the end of the film. I have to add, I’m sorry, that the story as presented–rise from poverty, the road to running in the 1936 Olympics, surviving two plane crashes, with a second leading to 45 days at sea in a raft, and the continual torture after his capture by Japanese–was not enough for you. It was more than enough for me. This film and the strange reaction that it is receiving, does not leave me feeling inspired. Instead I am saddened at how religion, politics and other preconceptions continually bring out the worst in people. I give this film 3 ½ binoculars. There was nothing wrong with the writing, the direction or the acting. It was just not a part of humanity that I want to spend that much time dwelling upon.

Unbroken Movie—Directed by Angelina Jolie/screenplay by Joel Coen, William Nicholson, Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese based on the biography of Louie Zamperini’s life written by Laura Hillenbrand/starring Jack O’Connell, Takamasa Ishihara, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund/2hr.17min./rated PG-13