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Unbroken - Film Review

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Published November 27th 2014
Where does strength come from?

Angelina Jolie had the courage to take on a film that had been around as a concept for over 50 years. It charts the life of Olympian and war hero Louis "Louie" Zamperini (Jack O'Connell), whose bullying as a child led to him becoming an Olympic athlete. After a devastating plane crash in World War Two, he survives 47 days in a raft, only to be captured by the Japanese navy, and interned in a number of prisoner-of-war camps.

The Japanese actor and rock star Miyavi plays the brutal camp guard known only to the men as "The Bird. If ever there was a candidate for an Oscar for "Best Supporting Actor" Miyavi is surely right up there. His depiction of a psychotic sadist is chillingly convincing.

The strengths of the film are its unflinching confrontation of brutality, and its celebration of the resilience of the prisoners of war.

Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand's ("Seabiscuit: An American Legend") enormously popular book, "Unbroken" brings to the big screen Zamperini's inspiring true story.

Zamperini, last year, in his nineties, got to know Angelina Jolie as the film was being made, and they became very fond of each other. He also saw and approved the "rushes" of the film.

Perhaps one caveat about the film is that I'd have liked to see a bit more about Louie's life after the camp, and about his meeting after the war with many of his guards.

But maybe that would have been another film very close to "Railway Man".

Unbroken" is unflinching and powerful, and well worth seeing.
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Why? Inspiring, confronting,engaging
When: Currently showing
Where: In cinemas
Cost: Check with local cinema
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