Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore

  Publicity Stills of
"A Mighty Heart"

Genre: Drama
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Dan Futterman, Archie Panjabi, Will Patton, Irfan Khan, Sajid Hasan, Aly Khan, Denis O'Hare
RunTime: 1 hr 48 mins
Rating: NC-16
Official Website: http://www.amightyheart.com/


Based on the memoirs of Mariane Pearl, A Mighty Heart tells the story of Daniel (Dan Futterman) and Mariane Pearl (Angelina Jolie), both journalists, who were among thousands of journalists that headed to Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 to report on the US-led “war on terror”.

On January 23, 2002, a day before Daniel and Mariane were due to fly to Dubai from Karachi, the capital of Pakistan, Daniel leaves to meet a known Islamic fundamentalist Sheikh Gilani but never returns. The movie follows the account of how Mariane, distraught but always determined, and a team of FBI counter terrorist agents, race against time to rescue Daniel.

Movie Review:

A Mighty Heart is a fine example of a movie to emerge from a more politically conscious Hollywood, following the events of September 11, 2001 and the ensuing US-led “war on terror” in Afghanistan and Iraq.

While many of its peers have chosen to focus on the impact of the war on the soldiers at the frontlines or their families at home, this movie based on the book by Mariane Pearl places its focus squarely on a husband and wife journalist team. And by doing so, it deftly underscores the ramifications on the people who risk their lives to let the world at large experience firsthand what is going on.

Kudos must go to director Michael Winterbottom, also the director of the equally politically charged The Road To Guantanamo. His documentary-style approach to A Mighty Heart is similar to that of his previous movie, lending a gravitas to a story which at its heart is a heart tugging chronicle of a five-months pregnant wife trying desperately to search for a missing husband.

But great movies have always managed to balance a sense of the intimate with the larger scale of things happening around people. What A Mighty Heart manages to bring to light is the nature of journalism as it is practiced today.

In fact, journalism has long been built on the pillar of objectivity, where the journalist is a mere observer, a mirror of reality. But what the last seven years have taught readers is that journalists are not mere observers, their articles not mere mirrors of reality, especially so since accusations have been thrown left right and centre about how the American media has been responsible for painting a coloured truth of the war to Americans.

This reflection is captured most aptly in A Mighty Heart where the journalist, the observer, becomes the actor, and thus plays a key role in how events play out, portrayed both in Daniel Pearl the kidnapped journalist, as well as Mariane Pearl, the journalist at the centre of her own story.

Much has been said about Angelina Jolie’s performance in A Mighty Heart, with most reviewers praising it as moving, measured and convincing. Indeed, this movie does give Jolie a chance to flex her acting abilities, unlike her more flashy roles in Mr And Mrs Smith and Wanted that she is better known for. Lest one forgets, she did burst into the Hollywood spotlight with a Best Supporting Actress award for Girl Interrupted in 1999.

Here, Jolie acquits herself superbly, delivering a honest and sincere performance that wins the audiences’ admiration and empathy for her character. In the midst of it all, Mariane Pearl, in life as in this movie, is distraught but never disheartened, always steeling herself to think coolly and rationally.

What however pleasantly surprises me in this movie is how director Winterbottom avoids showing Daniel Pearl in the hands of his kidnappers. There are no abduction videos, or beheadings. Instead, Winterbottom portrays the horror of the conclusion through the disbelief, disappointment and frustration of the characters who have spent sleepless nights toiling over the clues and leads they have.

Sadly, this movie never made it to local theatres and is only now released direct to DVD. Nonetheless, A Mighty Heart is an expertly fashioned drama, and a competently-acted one. It deserves to be seen by a wider audience, for the very issues and emotions it raises are still pertinent till this day.

Movie Rating:

Review by Gabriel Chong


. Wanted (2008)

. Rendition (2007)

. Lions For Lambs (2007)

. The Kingdom (2007)

. The Road to Guantanamo (2006)

. Babel (2006)

. World Trade Center (2006)

. Catch A Fire DVD (2006)



DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.