Angelina Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’ is the story of WWII POW Louis Zamperini, and it is a must-see film this Christmas!
If you’ve read the book, Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, you might be wondering if Angelina Jolie did the best-seller justice in the film adaptation, and she definitely did. Not only does it chronicle the life of Olympian Louis “Louie” Zamperini [Jack O’Connell], it is an accurate depiction of what it was like to be a POW in WWII.
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This movie is so intense that it’s almost hard to imagine that anyone could survive the odds stacked against Louie. He was a kid who just couldn’t manage to stay out of trouble so his brother convinced him to pick up running. He ended up setting the interscholastic record for the mile in 1935, with a time of 4:21 minutes. Louie garnered a scholarship to the University of Southern California and it was while in school that he qualified for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin that changed his life forever.
Louie competed in the Olympics 5000-meter race, and this is depicted in the film. Although he did not win, he finished eighth in the race. But despite not winning the unthinkable happened, he got noticed by Hitler, since he ran his final lap so quickly. This highly anticipated scene was unfortunately cut from the final version of Unbroken and Angie spoke about her decision for leaving this scene out.
“Believe me, every edit came with some pain for me because I wanted to honor Louie’s story in all of its remarkable expansiveness,” Angelina said. “But it was just impossible to include it all in one film. While meeting Hitler might be colorful, it wasn’t really the defining element of the Games for Louie. That ‘fast finish’ was.”
Shortly after, he enlists in the Army and during a bombing mission, his B-24 crashes into the Pacific. He and three of his crew end up fighting for their lives on a raft for 47 days. Can you even imagine it?
Angelina does a fantastic job making his story come to life and you will be on the edge of your seat throughout the film!
Once they are captured by the Japanese and put into varies prison camps, that’s when the starvation and deplorable conditions begin. It’s fascinating watching what these men had to go through, especially Louie’s torment by one particular guard, Mutsuhiro Watanabe [Miyavi].
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But I must say that my favorite part of the film is the fight scene between the aircrafts towards the beginning. You really feel just how scared these guys were as they were shooting machine guns at the enemy planes. It’s terrifyingly realistic and my hats off to Angie and the actors.
Angelina does more than tell the story of Louie and his legacy will live on forever. Check out Unbroken when it hits theaters Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2014.
HollywoodLifers, are you planning to see Unbroken?
— Chloe Melas