Movie Review: “Unbroken”

War movie after war movie continue to bore me, but “Unbroken” stands apart from the endless battle scenes and the same old story of most films about war. Through the eyes of an American Olympic athlete, “Unbroken” captures the pain of American prisoners of war in Japan. A true story of Louis Zamperini’s (Jack O’Connell) fight to stay alive, “Unbroken” brings light to all those tortured by the Japanese during World War II. 

After being stranded in the ocean for 47 long and unbearable days, Zamperini is captured by the Japanese and taken to an internment camp. The detailed and agonizing story is illustrated through examples of what life is like as a prisoner of war in Japanese POW camp, Naoetsu. Zamperini is the favorite target of the camp’s commander. Although the movie is excruciating and all too real, it is an impactful and meaningful story that needs to be told. 

Later, because they flee into hiding after losing the war, the Japanese do not face the responsibility for torturing hundreds of thousands of American soldiers. 

After many years some soldiers had returned to Japan to make peace with those who abused their power, however many Japanese solidiers, including the commander of Zamperini’s camp, refused to see them, as is told in the end credits of the movie. 

From the start of the film the cinematography by Roger Deakins is beautiful. For example there is great  attention to small details, such as the way the men change in appearance after long days under the blazing sun. These details made me  feel I was right there with them the entire time. 

Before watching I was worried I wouldn’t be able to follow the film because after hearing my friends explain the story line, I was  confused. Was Louis Zamperinian athlete, at sea or a prisoner? But not once while watching did I feel I was missing a piece of the story or that the director, Angelina Jolie,  focused too little or too much on one part.  

This is not a movie I would recommend for a fun family  night, but I walked away having nothing but admiration for the strength and determination of Zamperini. The movie left me feeling embarrassed for how little I have done so far with my life. 

“Unbroken” is a truly captivating movie that inspires you to find your strength and bravery in times of pain and fear, with cinematography that will blow you away. 

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