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BTDesign Award
A Mighty Heart (2007)

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Dan Futterman, Irrfan Khan, Archie Panjabi, Will Patton, Denis O'Hare

Director(s): Michael Winterbottom

Language: English

Genre: Historical Drama

Website: Click Here


Prolific director Michael Winterbottom (24-HOUR PARTY PEOPLE) takes an unusual turn by helming A MIGHTY HEART--a studio picture starring none other than Angelina Jolie. Jolie stars as Mariane Pearl, the widow of WALL STREET JOURNAL reporter Daniel Pearl. Daniel was kidnapped and executed in Pakistan in 2002, and Winterbottom's film centers on the frantic activities leading up to his death. Fellow journalist Mariane revs into action as soon as the disappearance of her husband is announced, callin... [Get complete synopsis]


Jefferygn wrote on May 15, 2007, 2:09 pm
Sorry Mitch, gotta take you to task on this...

So we're at the googleplex the other night about to watch some real shite - 28WL (I regret my 2.5 stars...), and we walk by the poster for this upcoming film. Mitch takes one read of the title and star and says "one star", or something to the effect that it will be crap.

I, on the other hand, take a second look... and realize that while it seemingly has a lame title, I note that it is directed by Michael Winterbottom, someone known for making serious films. So I suggest we reserve judgment for now. Once at home, I do a quick search on imdb and determine that this is the bio-pic about Daniel Pearle. And Mitch says "who?"

Anyhow, for the ignorant (from Wikipedia):

Daniel Pearl (October 10, 1963 ? February 22, 2002) was an American journalist who was kidnapped and murdered in Karachi, Pakistan.

On January 23, 2002, on his way to an interview with a supposed terrorist leader, Pearl was kidnapped by a militant group calling itself The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty. This group claimed Pearl was a CIA agent and sent the United States a range of demands, including the freeing of all Pakistani terror detainees, and the release of a halted U.S. shipment of F-16 fighter jets to the Pakistani government.

The message read:

We give you one more day if America will not meet our demands we will kill Daniel. Then this cycle will continue and no American journalist could enter Pakistan.

Photos of Pearl handcuffed with a gun at his head and holding up a newspaper were attached. There was no response to pleas from Pearl's editor, and from his wife Mariane who was pregnant with their first child.

Nine days later, Pearl was decapitated. Pearl's body was found cut into ten pieces and buried in a shallow grave in the outskirts of Karachi on May 16.

On February 21, 2002, a videotape titled "The Slaughter of the Spy-Journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl" was released. The video shows Pearl's mutilated body and lasts three minutes and thirty-six seconds.

The first part of the video shows Pearl stating his captors' demands. A caption in Arabic is shown along the way, "My name is (Daniel Pearl), I am a Jewish-American". Pictures of dead Muslims and similar scenes are superimposed around the image of Pearl. Other images shown are those of United States President George W. Bush shaking hands with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Published reports say that a technical error prevents the first slashing of Pearl's throat from being captured on film. In the video, Pearl's body is shown naked from the waist up with his throat slit at about 1 minute and 55 seconds into the video. A man then cuts his head off. A few more images, such as captives held at Guantanamo Bay, are shown near the image of Pearl's head. The last 90 seconds of the video show the list of demands scrolling, superimposed on an image of Pearl's severed head being held by the hair.

So, a journalist being killed largely for being a Jew. Nice fucking world we live in, isn't it. Anyhow, the movie could still suck Torahs, but one cannot dismiss based on title and star (BTW, the title comes from the title of Pearle's wife's memoires).

motleymitch wrote on May 15, 2007, 2:45 pm
Dismiss THIS!

Deril wrote on May 15, 2007, 3:40 pm
Sucking Torahs is damn funny!!! POL!!!

Deril wrote on May 15, 2007, 3:41 pm
POL!! Look at the mayor's name....kinda like dreamy mcdreamy.

I just checked with Anat, his name is Doctor McDreamy (there is some other guy on the show named Doctor McSteamy (Oh, I'm not a doctor)
Jefferygn wrote on May 22, 2007, 9:27 am
This premiered at Cannes last night... the Times of London has given it 4/5 stars... Oh Mitchy, how you have upset the brits!

However, I have to make a clarification, not only was I taking Mitch to task for slamming a film based on title, but also for not knowing who Daniel Pearl is (was). I mean, coommmmeee ONnnnn!

motleymitch wrote on May 22, 2007, 9:43 am
Oh yeah?
Do you know who Maynard James Keenan is?
Game, set, match!

Jefferygn wrote on May 22, 2007, 9:52 am
Umm... DUH!

He is is an American rock singer. He has been a member of the band Tool since 1990 and was a member of the band A Perfect Circle from 1999 to 2005. He is currently pursuing his Puscifer side project and his vineyards.

Like who the f doesn't know that?

The real question is do you know who John Maynard Keynes is? (mike should know this like knows his own a$$!)

Papamikey wrote on May 22, 2007, 11:42 am
MY GOD...that name brings back PAINFUL memories of Business Cycles and Keynesian Economics....



Though, if you ask me about ANY of his theories, I probably couldn't string together two sentences.

motleymitch wrote on May 22, 2007, 1:54 pm
John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes, CB (pronounced "cains", IPA /keɪnz/) (5 June 1883 ? 21 April 1946) was a gayromping British economist whose ideas, called Keynesian economics, had a major gayromping impact on modern economic and political theory as well as on many gayromping governments' fiscal policies. He is particularly remembered for advocating gayromping interventionist government policy, by which the government would use fiscal and monetary measures to mitigate the gayromping adverse effects of economic recessions, depressions and gayromping booms. Economists consider him one of the main gayromping founders of modern theoretical macroeconomics. His expression "In the long run, we are all gayrompingly dead" is much quoted.

Papamikey wrote on May 22, 2007, 4:49 pm
Like I said...

Just with not as much Gayromping.

Actually, there's two WARRING "main" factions in Economics: "Keynesians" who think governmental control is GOOD at offsetting inflation, business cycles (i.e. the recessions and booms), that controlling such factors as interest rates and the supply of Money actually affects these variables.

And, on the other side (IN THE RED CORNER WEARING THE TEAL BOXERS WITH PINK STRIPES) we have the "Monetarists" who say (VERY BASICALLY) say that when government gets involved they F*CK up the economy by introducing disequillibrium states and actually CAUSE more problems than they're trying to solve.

One of the main supporters (and arguably the father) of this side was Milton Friedman (won the Nobel prize for Economics)

So, you can see how Politics gets mangled up with all this, people want inflation and interest rates to stay low and not fluctuate, they want the economy to be in a constant BOOM, so we vote for the government who can "fiddle with the knobs" to make this happen. HOW we fiddle with those knobs is different if your a Keynesian or a Montarist...

See?! Fiddling with knobs....

Jefferygn wrote on June 22, 2007, 10:22 pm
Well... now to the movie itself.

A pitch-perfect docudrama. While being understated, it is equally high in its impact and effect. Winterbottom is obviously in complete command. A tremendous film. Jolie is incredible as Marianne Pearl, and it is hard to believe this is the same woman who provides such interest to the tabloid-scene.

Perhaps the one irony is the title. While it does indeed come from the title of Marianne Pearl's book, the movie is so perfectly toned, that it doesn't seem to fit with this rather unfortunate hollywood-esque title. However, I will say this; that when a movie is so well made, people's "hearts", if you will, perhaps do seem more real and more profound - hence perhaps in a round about way justifying the name.

Obviously, I highly recommend this. It is second only to United 93 in terms of 911 themed films. Outstanding.

motleymitch wrote on June 23, 2007, 1:46 am
I was looking at all the reviews this week (mostly of the 4 star calibre) and thought, "Jeff is gonna run out and see this, likely give it four stars, and give me shit for making fun of it".
I have to admit I'm still not all that interested in seeing it though. And it's still a mediocre title.
And it probably doesn't have much of this guy.

Jefferygn wrote on June 23, 2007, 7:51 am
Note, however, how I did NOT give you shite in my review!
motleymitch wrote on June 23, 2007, 9:18 am
True, but I know you're THINKING it!
Honestly Jeff, sometimes I think you hate me just because I'm a Jew.

motleymitch wrote on June 24, 2008, 9:30 am
This was my fave part of the film.

Jefferygn wrote on June 24, 2008, 11:20 am
What the f?
motleymitch wrote on December 13, 2008, 12:29 pm
POL! Funny thread!
And now, the film...

Forget about the subject matter and real-life events for a moment - the film itself was kinda...dull. Jolie was fine in the role, but sorta had the same somber expression on her face for 3/4 of the film, save for her eventual breakdown and real-life "NOOOOOOOO!!!!".
Seeing as how this is based on true events and we already know the outcome, we have to be immersed in the journey to that outcome, and I found it a little repetitive. 90 minutes of tracing phone calls and having the Pakistani police track down leads and dead-ends and listing suspects' names on a blackboard doesn't make for very compelling film-making. I'm not asking for CSI and explosions, but I'm thinking the book may be a better way to get into this story. From a technical standpoint, I also didn't care for the back-and-forth editing style, cutting consistently between the present, the flashbacks with Daniel, and scenes of long meditative thought while characters stare at computer screens and out of windows.
Again, I can appreciate the tragedy and frustration of being in Karachi with little to no help, but this just wasn't my cup of tea.
On an unfortunate side note, any time I see Will Patton, I am instantly reminded of his shitty role in the shitty film "The Postman" (and to a lesser degree, the shitty film "Armageddon").
Deril wrote on December 14, 2008, 5:25 pm
no time to write, but I thought this was very good.

What's your rating of this movie?


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