Chieftain Press

Unbroken: Film Review

Universal Studios

Universal Studios

Julia Barshak, Contributor

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 Unbroken, the incredible true story of Louie Zamperini, an American war hero, came to theaters Christmas day. Based off Laura Hillenbrand’s remarkable novel, Unbroken: A World War II Story of  Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, the movie had trouble staying up to par with the written text.

Louie Zamperini (Jack O’connor) grew up a troubled child before being saved by running on the track team. Eventually he was good enough to run in the Olympics. This took intense training and was a transformation point in Louie’s life. Zamperini’s running was also a major character development. The quick movie scene depicted Louie running with his brother Pete on a bike, Pete encouraging Louie, then a flash forward to Louie practically grown up, thus missing all the character development. All of this was a flashback as Louie was in his war plane about to crash over the Pacific Ocean. Louie and two other crew members survived the crash, however one died later on. Louie and his friend Phil survived 47 days, floating in a raft in shark infested waters waiting to be rescued, only to be discovered by the Japanese and taken as Prisoners.

Louie’s incredible tale was not given justice in the movie Unbroken. The same scenes that shocked readers in the book were mediocre in the movie. Furthermore, The last third of the book was cut off in the movie. The entire “redemption” section was disregarded. In the novel, after he was rescued, Louie wanted to kill his cruelest tormentor more than anything, until he went to a sermon and found it in himself to forgive his captors. In the movie, Louie had no ill effects of being tortured for two years. The horrors ended as soon as he left Japan, when in actuality Louie would struggle with nightmares and PTSD for years.

Overall, the film was not bad. The acting was well done, and it was an interesting tale and  it told part of Louie’s unbelievable story. But for the full story of this incredible hero, one must read the book by Laura Hillenbrand rather than watch Director Angelina Jolie’s movie, which falls short of many viewer’s expectations.

 

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Unbroken: Film Review