ever_maedhros: (angel coulby)
[personal profile] ever_maedhros
. . . and wow. The feels, man. THE FEELZ. I had been working up to watching this movie for months. That included a few weeks in which I listened to an audiobook of Laura Hillenbrand's novel (which was poignant and beautiful and brilliantly done). Any films to do with wars that actually took place are very hard for me to sit through, and this one was too, but I'm so glad I did.



The cinematography was STUNNING. I was ready to start yelling at some parts. The way it began with a beauty serene sky, then you noticed one cloud looked like a plane or a bird, AND THEN SUDDENLY B-24S EVERYWHERE. The way one scene transitioned from water dappled with soot-caked prisoners to a greyish blue sky dappled with clouds. The silhouettes. The perfectly timed flashbacks. Ugh, it was so good.



credit: arsenalroy

I also really liked how faithful and respectful it was to the book, and to the man whose story was laid out for us. That's class, and I appreciate it. The only thing I felt truly lacking was just a glimpse or two of the kinder guards in the Japanese war prison camps. The book put a lot of stress on how some of the guards were very humane, even took risks for the prisoners. Also how the prisoners did little things for suffering Japanese civilians toward the war's end. That made a big impression on me, and I wish the film had taken even a few seconds to show that. Closest thing we got to see was the sadness and horror when the prisoners of war were marched through a bomb-ravaged town.

My inner fangirl was swooning quite a bit whenever Garrett Hedlund showed up. Can't help it. Between his jawline and his deep voice, I must flail quietly or bust. (His portrayal of Murtaugh in Eragon made a huge impression on me. So much so, I have several book characters inspired by that role alone. Just, ahhhhh.)

And kudos to Jack O'Connell for being phenomenal at portraying the many facets of Zamperini's personality. I had no trouble believing his humor, his anguish, his humanity. It's usually very hard for me to believe that much in the main character. Why is this guy not more famous? Give him lots and lots of big roles, please and thank you.



credit: friedhelms

Another reason why I wanted to watch it (okay, my main reason for wanting to watch it) was the Japanese pop/rock star Miyavi, who played the villain. Pretty much every English-speaking fan of Japanese pop or rock went BONKERS over being able to see a Japanese artist in an American movie. It was contagious, because I wasn't even a big fan of Miyavi, and I got excited, too. Miyavi was every bit as compelling and nerve-wracking as I'd heard. When we first see his character Watanabi in silhouette, blocking out all the light, like a moving black hole . . . it gave me chills. CHILLS, I TELL YOU. And I wanted to punch him from the beginning to the end of the movie, even though I knew the whole story's point was redemption and forgiveness.

And I'll close with this thought: Angelina Jolie can direct, and direct very well. Wow. She has my respect.
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