Survival, Resilience, Redemption
Directed by Angelina Jolie, Unbroken portrays the true story of Olympian Louis Zamperini. After a life threatening plane crash in WW2, Louis had to spend over 45 days in a raft in the middle of the ocean with 2 fellow crewmen before he was caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a detention camp. Will Louis Zamperini be able to live up to the title of the film and stay UNBROKEN?
There are no major stars selling this film- the biggest element that is drawing audiences in is due to the fact that Angelina Jolie is the director. Hot off of the heels off of summer blockbuster Maleficent, Jolie sits in the directors chair this time and she does a hell of a good job! I think all of the executive choices she made in this film were correct. It was great imagining such a big name that is not just a one-trick-pony (acting) and can do such a good job at directing as well. Now, lets talk about the acting is this film. Jack O'Connell (Starred Up) does a fantastic job! I think he deserves an Oscar for the performance he puts on in this film. He portrays every stage of Zamperini's journey perfectly. He creates discomfort when needed, he creates emotion when needed and he also creates a lot of tension and drama when needed. The supporting cast all do a really good job too. A special mention must go to Takamasa Ishihara who really gets into the villainous role. The acts his character (Watanabe 'The Bird') carries out are so discomforting and evil but you don't even feel like Ishihara himself cares about what he is doing- he is that believable!
Unbroken is also a very moving story (in two ways). The first is that it is very emotional and manages to have the audience routing for Louis Zamperini the whole way through the film. There are also many discomforting scenes that actually made me want to get involved with the film and stop 'The Bird'. The second is that there are so many different elements to the plot. Just as you start to get bored of a scenario, you move on to a different scenario which is great! An example of this is when Louis and his crewmen are in the raft but after 47 days, the plot changes and they are 'rescued' by a Japanese army crew which changes the story completely. I also enjoyed this film as it was very unpredictable- this may only be because I was unfamiliar with Louis Zamperini's story. Unbroken also includes a very effective and tense scene that includes sharks - the whole audience jumped which added some thrill in some slightly dull moments.
There is so much praise for this film but there are a few slight problems. In the first 30 minutes of the film, there were some editing choices that I did not agree with. I found that the film was trying to be effective but ended up just confusing me. I did understand it eventually but I would have enjoyed that part of the film more if it was edited differently. The length of the film was also a slight issue. Even though I said I liked the way the story kept moving, there were some moments where I just wanted it to move a little quicker.
Unbroken comes with many inspirational messages - the script was written very well. The main message that I took from the film is 'to forgive and not take revenge'. I believe that this is a very good message for a successful film to be displaying. Unbroken also speaks about making the most of your life, even if you don't have a lot which is also very inspirational.
Angelina Jolie impresses with this film. The acting leads the way with a fantastic performance by Jack O'Connell. You may feel like you may not survive till the end of the film but don't fret because the ending will be a redemption for the length of the film. Unbroken deserves a lot of praise this awards season. If I had seen it in 2014, it would have probably made my 'Best Of' list. Inspiring, memorable, emotional and moving - Unbroken is a film that you need to see.