I said I wouldn't do it but I did it. James and I just got back from seeing A Mighty Heart and hands down, it's a gripping, intelligent film. Angelina Jolie's performance captures the reason why the book behind this movie was made in the first place: to continue to draw the world's attention to the misery beneath the phenomenon we know as jihad. Jolie's performance -- so in line with her roster of work as an alpha-femme both on screen and off -- empowers the audience to ask questions, to demand accountability and change from the forces that propogate the cycle of war and poverty instead of sulking home a weeping mess. Yes, we all know how Daniel Pearl's story ends but there's a bigger, yet unresolved story still unfolding. This film places the onus on all of us to seek out its end -- a mighty challenge for sure.
Ann Hornaday at the Washington Post captures my reservations about the movie: "Welcome to the new Cinema of Compulsive Reenactment, wherein excruciatingly painful recent events are rushed to the screen with breathless, almost fetishistic detail, and whose precise aims are subject to interpretation. Is this instant mythologizing a form of catharsis? Closure? Rank exploitation? Or a particularly American, impatient brand of revisionism, designed to create an immediately usable past?"
Note: I never took issue with the making of the movie or the writing of a book. I just cringed at the juxtaposition of such a weighty story alongside the glitz of the Cannes Film Festival. I also meant to sound judgemental, even mean. I still don't understand how life goes on, with such lucre, after the horrific death of a loved one. But so it does. How a bunch of people decked out in couture in the south of France can allow themselves to be impacted by the film is beyond me, but I'm glad I go to see it for myself. In Brooklyn. Far from Karachi.