It is a beautiful portrayal of an unbelievable life.
Angelina Jolie directs an emotional and inspiring film as she brings the amazingly true story of Louis Zamperini to life. His is one life that 137 minutes can barely scratch the surface of so what we get is a solid glimpse into some of the most unbelievable parts. Jolie has pulled out a moment in time and used that to show us the heart of Zamperini. It is impossible to watch this film and not be encouraged and reminded that the human spirit is a powerful warrior.
Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) was a young man headed straight for destruction. But through the help of others, mainly his brother Pete (Alex Russell), he tapped into a talent of running and soon became an Olympian. WWII soon interrupted his life and while serving his country he is captured and becomes a POW. While there his spirit is tested in several ways especially by the camps overseer Mutsushiro Watanabe (Takamasa Ishihara). The film focus mainly on his military days while filling in the legacy with flashback scenes of what brought him to this place.As it all plays out not only is his perseverance strengthened but he discovers that God has a plan for his life and Louis vows to see it through.
There are three main backdrops in Unbroken.The POW Camp, his days stranded at sea on a life raft, and his early life growing up. Each one is fabulously staged and executed. Jolie sucks you in to each scene and this allows the viewer to experience the moment and share in Zamperini's predicament. The cinematography is award worthy and even though the story was enough to make it a great film, no corners where cut when it came to creating a beautiful backdrop. It is a blockbuster in every sense of the word.
For Zamperini to live and breath on the big screen O'Connell needed to nail the tenacity and inner strength of the character. You have to see the struggle on the face and the fire in the eyes. When facing his enemy, whether it be the vast open ocean or a POW leader, O'Connell has to convince us that he is not going to give up. When the audience is exhausted and would forgive him for throwing in the towel Jack has to push through and show he can go the distance. It is the nature of not only an Olympic athlete but a war hero. It is also worth mentioning that having a face that is not familiar makes the role more engaging. You are not distracted thinking, oh that is just so-and-so playing a part.
Unbroken is rated PG-13 for war violence including intense sequences of brutality, and for brief language. This is an adult film due to the themes and perils that ZAmperini faces. Though it is safe for younger viewers it is not necessarily meant for them. There is an underlying message in the film though that should resonate and encourage those of any age; that ability to find hope in the most hopeless of situations and overcome them. If you can take it, you can make it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It is a beautiful portrayal of an unbelievable life.