When Angelina Jolie was wanting to direct another film she started exploring ideas about what sort of film to make. Little did she know that the solution was practically in her own backyard. She stumbled upon Unbroken while she was browsing the list of open directing assignments and was immediately drawn by the themes of resilience and courage. The movie is based on "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption" by Laura Hillenbrand. The subject of the book Louis Zamperini as it turned out, lived behind Jolie's home and you can even see her rooftop from his balcony.
Like the book, the movie tells us about Zamperini's incredible life story. From a troublesome kid; thanks to his older brother taking him under his wing, he started running and eventually went on to compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympics before his career was cut short by the war and saw him joining the military. While in the military his plane was shot down over the Pacific and went down in shark infested waters. He survived this ordeal by staying afloat on a raft for 47 days only to be taken in as a prisoner of war where he was subjected to horrific daily abuse and torture that saw more than 35,000 other POWs perish.
This film about Louis' life story follows his time in the POW camp where he was inflicted with pain and torture on a fairly regular basis. It was like Jolie was imprinting in our mind all that he had gone through just so we could realise the courage and resilience it took to have endured the suffering and come out on top. It was a way of paying tribute to her new found friend Louis.
In spite of all its good intentions, I felt the tale was a tad too long in its telling. It just rolled along from one prisoner of war scene to the next, broken up by flashbacks of the past. There was nothing that really stood out in my mind. The actors played their parts well and it was interesting as all true stories generally are, but there was no real light and shade or flash of brilliance. I give this a 6 out of 10.