Review of "Unbroken (DVD)"
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About the Film
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This film is directed and produced by Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie. The film is an epic drama that follows the real life of Olympian Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) having to spend a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewman after a near fatal plane crash in WWII. After surviving in the raft for 47 days after his bomber was downed he was then sent to a series of prisoner of war camps. Me and my boyfriend saw this film advertise when watching another film and we both thought it looked pretty good. I was surprised that my boyfriend thought it looked good as this isn't normally his type of film. The film is based on the 2010 non-fiction book by Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption). This film is a true story and is available to purchase on DVD and Blu-ray. It can be purchased from Amazon and various other places as well. This film has received mixed reviews from critics. After an early screening, some Japanese nationalists asked for the film and the director to be banned from their country, due to their accusation that the film shows them in a negative stereotypical light. In response, it triggered a petition by The Indo Project voicing support for the movie, as they saw it as a reflection of what their family members in the former Dutch East Indies experienced in Japanese camps. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film is rated at 51% based on 194 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 59 out of 100, based on 48 critics, indicating 'mixed or average reviews'.
(Please note that some of the above information has been taken from sources on the internet)
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- Jack O'Connell as Louis 'Louie' Zamperini
- Domhall Gleeson as Russell 'Phil' Philips
- Garrett Hedlund as John Fitzgerald
- Miyavi as Mutsuhiro 'Bird' Watanabae
- Jai Courtney as Charlton Hugh 'Cup' Cupernell
****MAY CONTAIN SPOLIERS***
The film returns to Louis and the surviving crew of the bomber plane. We see Louis in their camp and doing what he loves which is running. When he's out running one hot day his pilot finds in him a jeep and tells him they have a new mission to go on and that they have a new crew. Unfortunately the mission doesn't go as planned as the plane comes down in ocean where Louis, the pilot and another member of the crew manage to survive. Unfortunately the other members of the crew are no so lucky. Obviously this part of the film contains a good amount of action when they realise they are all going to end up in the ocean with the plane. During this part of the film Louis has a short flashback. Louis and the other members of the crew climb into the life rafts where they hope to be found. The next 20mins of the film is based on the surviving crew members in the raft. 10mins into this part of the film I found it a little boring, even when they try to catch a shark to eat.
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The film starts off by us seeing Louis flying in a bomber plane for the US. It's 1943 and Louis and others are on a bombing mission against Japanese-held island of Nauru. There is a good amount of action during the first 10mins of the film at least as there is shooting and bombing of other planes going on around them. A lot of the crew get injured and the plane is badly damaged so the pilot (Phil) brings it down to a stop right at the end of the runway. From here the film goes to Louis's childhood. He comes across as a bit of a trouble maker as we see him smoking, drinking and getting into other mischief. It's clear that both of his parents are very disappointed in him, especially his father. Louis has a brother whom suggests training him to run and although Louis doesn't seem very interested at first he is soon training to become a runner and he's a very good one. It's clear that Louis's brother wants to help Louis as much as possible and although Louis isn't sure at first he soon feels proud, as his parents do when he qualifies for the summer Olympics in Germany. As Louis progresses with this running and gets this opportunity you can't help but feel so happy for him, especially when you see how happy and proud his parents are of him. From being a trouble-make boy, he has done very well with the help of his older brother.
Eventually Louis and the pilot get rescued although by the Chinese and they are separated and sent to a Prison of War Camp. It's in the camp that we meet a Japanese Corporal (Mutsuhiro 'Bird' Watanabae), who comes across as a very nasty man. The Corporal carries a long stick with him and we see him use this to beat some of the prisoners in the camp. These scenes are quite violent although they don't focus on the person being beaten more the corporal raising the stick and bringing it down very hard more than once on the person being beaten. You can't help but feel sadness seeing all the prisoners in the camp and the way that they are treated. Obviously the Corporal is a much hated man, not just by the prisoners but by people who would be watching this film as well. Eventually the prisoners are moved to another camp. By now the prisoners are looking thin, tired, dirty and completely exhausted. I can't even begin to imagine how they must have felt or how they even carried out the work they did there. There's one particular scene at the camp involving Louis and the Corporal which is a part of the film which stuck out more so than some of the other parts.During the rest of the film the prisoners in the camp are released and they can return home. As Louis returns home there are plenty of people to meet him including his family who are proud and also ecstatic that he survived. You can't help but feel so much happiness during the last part of the film for the way things ended and the fact that despite going through what he went he survived it and was able to return back home to his family. You will see a slide show at the end of the film showing what happened to Louis after the war and also to Phil who we find out also survived, despite them being in separate prisoner of war camps. We also learn what happened to Mutsuhiro 'Bird' Watanabe, which I found interesting. The way the film ended was just beautiful and I not only had a slight tear in my eye but a huge smile of happiness on my face as well.
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When I saw this film advertise I already decided that I wanted to see it as I thought it looked good. I was surprised when my boyfriend said he wanted to see it as it's not his kind of film and it's a film that he would probably end up finding boring. Right from the very start of the film my eyes were glued to the screen. I found the start of the film good, especially as it contained a good amount of action. I loved the flashbacks of Louis as a child when we see his brother training him to become a runner and it's such a lovely story how he went from a trouble-maker boy to what he did eventually. The film has a couple of weak parts. I found the 20mins with the crew on the life raft a little boring, although I don't think the film would have been the same if they had taken this part out or shortened it. This film is a good 2hrs long and I always get worried that a film that long will get boring but it didn't get boring, especially not after we see Louis in the prisoner of war camp. There are some violent scenes, mostly beating scenes although these aren't too bloody and it's more the noise and the stick rising to beat the prisoners that you see more than anything. When watching the film I really felt for the prisoners in the camp and what they went through, especially when you see the appalling conditions they were kept in and what they had to do. There are a few really good strong parts in the film which has made the film very memorable. I really enjoyed this film and would highly recommend it to others. My boyfriend is yet to watch this so I am still awaiting his opinion of it to see what he thought of it.
Product Information : Unbroken (DVD)
Manufacturer's product description
Classification: 15 years and over
Production Year: 2014
Actor(s): Jack O'Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Luke Treadaway
DVD Region: DVD
Video Category: Feature Film
Director(s) (Last name, First name): Jolie, Angelina
Listed on Ciao since: 28/01/2016