Review -Unbroken


Unbroken, the wartime drama story of the harrowing experience of Louis Zamperini at the hands of the Japanese during the second World War, is the film for U in the Alphabet challenge this year. The film is directed by Angelina Jolie with a screenplay partly written by the Coen Brothers.

Zamperini, a talented runner pre war who had participated in the 1936 olympics, is a member of a flight crew for a US bomber targeting sites in Japanese islands.

The film tells the tale of Zamperini’s capture by the Japanese following the crashing of his bomber. The capture comes after Zamperini and fellow members of the crew have been stranded in a lifeboat for over a month.

Zamperini then finds himself not only transported to a Japanese POW camp, but targeted by a vicious Japanese corporal because of his previous fame as a runner. The levels of endurance that Zamperini manages to find through this is near super human.

I always find it slightly difficult to critique a film that is the true story of someone like Zamperini given that you don’t want to be seen as critiquing the actual story rather than the cinematic portrayal.

What I would say is that there’s no disputing the tale in terms of the endurance that he showed throughout his treatment. What I did find most interesting (and I’m being careful now not to give any spoilers away) is that at the end of the film where some further information is provided about other elements of the story made me feel like the bigger opportunity has been somewhat missed.

O’Connell is phenomenal in the lead role and the performance of Domhnall Gleeson as a fellow member of the crew stranded too reminds of his ability as a performer.

Its a good film but the heavy focus on the endurance of Zamperini as things worsen and worsen feels like it missed out on a large part of the story that so quickly is summarised at the closing.


That’s what I thought – what about you? Have you seen it? Comment below and share your thoughts…

One comment

  • Films based of true stories seems to be a bit of a trend at the moment, personally I like them, although that’s not the word to describe this particular film , it shows the cruelty of war, , this film shows the strength of character of the individual , that being the prisoner not the prison guards, I’m sure there are many many men (and women) with similar stories out there, so maybe this film represents them.


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