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Pearl was kidnapped in Karachi by supporters of Omar Sheikh. The movie also covers efforts by Pakistan's Security Forces, Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) to track the kidnappers and bring them to justice. Sheikh claimed responsibility for kidnapping and beheading Pearl in 2002. He was captured and convicted but is appealing the ruling.
The movie, directed by the versatile British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom (\"24 Hour Party People,\" \"The Road to Guantanamo\"), is notable for what it leaves out. Although we do meet the possible suspect Omar (Aly Khan), there are not any detailed scenes of Pearl with his kidnappers, no portrayals of their personalities or motivations, and we do not see the beheading and its video. That last is not just because of Winterbottom's tact and taste, but because (I think) he wants to portray the way Pearl has almost disappeared into another dimension. His kidnappers have transported him outside the zone of human values and common sense. We reflect that the majority of Muslims do not approve of the behavior of Islamic terrorists, just as the majority of Americans disapprove of the war in Iraq.
Many thrillers depend on action, conflict, triumph and defeat. This one depends on impotence and frustration. The kidnappers cannot do more than snatch one unarmed man after he gets out of a taxi, and Pearl's friends are lost in a maze of clues, lies, gossip and dead ends. The movie has been described as a \"police procedural,\" but I saw it more as a stalemate.
Mariane Pearl reminds us in her book, and the movie reminds us, too, that some 230 other journalists had lost their lives at the time of Pearl's kidnapping, most of them during the conflict in Iraq. That means they proportionately had a higher death rate than combat soldiers. That's partly because they are ill-prepared for the risks they take and partly because they're targets. The Americans who complain about \"negative\" news are the ideological cousins of those who shoot at CNN crews. The news is the news, good or bad, and those who resent being informed of it are pitiful. More Americans are well-informed about current sports and auto-racing statistics, I sometimes think, than anything else.
What is most fascinating about Mariane Pearl, in life and in this movie, is that she is not a stereotyped hysterical wife, weeping on camera, but a cool, courageous woman who behaves in a way best calculated to save her husband's life. Listen to her speak and sense how her mind works. While you experience the fear and tension that Winterbottom records, see also how she tries to use it and not merely be its victim. (In the same sense, the statements of the parents of Blair Holt, the boy who died in a senseless shooting on a Chicago bus, have glowed with intelligence and sanity, despite their grief.)
\"Even to the first day of shooting I was very hesitant and scared to do this movie,\" adds Angelina Jolie. \"I didn't feel I'd be good enough to pull this off and I felt it was such an important thing to do; but I believed very much in the message and what she taught me about overcoming fear and hate, becoming a more tolerant person.\"
\"To be there and get a sense of Urdu being spoken on the street, the sort of incredible chaos - both in good and bad ways of that city ...it is an amazing place, teeming with 14 million people in greater Karachi, and you get the sense of sort of bursting at the seams,\" he says. \"I don't think you could get that anywhere else. It was incredibly important to the texture and the feel of the movie to be shooting actually where things happened.\"
Another movie based on a tragic event with solid performances and interesting story, but messy storytelling that made it a little less enjoyable. And also Angelina Jolie shows rather good acting skills and the film is a nice one-time watch, there was nothing particularly catchy in this film besides the premise and the details on the unfair fate of the journalist Daniel Pearl (R.I.P.).
\"It was helped by the fact that we did not set out to do a murder mystery,\" Jolie says. \"We set out to make a movie about human beings and tolerance and how people suffer through and overcome through very, very difficult times.\"
Actor Irrfan Khan's sudden demise has left a void in our hearts. As the actor bid farewell to the world surrounded by his family and loved ones, the Indian film industry lost one of its brighest stars.
The actor met the Hollywood A-listers during the filming for A Mighty Heart in India in 2007. A Mighty Heart was directed by Michael Winterbottom and based on the kidnapping and later killing of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi. Jolie starred in the movie as Mariane Pearl, Daniel's wife.
In the new movie \\\"Stuck,\\\" which opened last week, actress Mena Suvari plays a young woman named Brandi, who, after a night of partying, strikes a homeless man with her car, sending him through her windshield, and leaves him to die.
\\\"That movie Mena is in might not have gotten made if she wasn't in it,\\\" said David Vaccari, a New York-based casting director, who casts for films, television, commercials and theater. \\\"It's all about getting the movie done. It's a business. Everyone is looking to make their money back. The artistic vision is in there, but I don't think it's always the primary factor. Sometimes, ethnicity and the reality of the story are sacrificed.\\\"
\\\"They probably said, 'this movie has a better chance of being mainstream if the lead is not Asian,'\\\" Vaccari said. \\\"It's a question of 'we can make this movie with four unknowns or we can try to take a little license with the script. No one is saying it's real. They're saying it's based on a true story.'\\\"
At last, there's \"the scene,\" the most unbearable moment in the entire picture, the most excoriating too. It happens as the widow realizes she's a widow, and it hurts to think of, let alone to watch the thing unfold. Jolie's Mariane swallows down her sobs, her tears threatening to fall at last. We see that mask start to crumble, tremors, and popped veins galore. And then, she exits the scene, as she always does, running away from the camera at this most delicate point. Our gaze still follows her, through it all, chasing after the bereaved woman, thirsty for the fresh blood of grief. When alone, she collapses, screams, exorcising some mighty demons. Some might call the cry an example of catharsis, but that doesn't do it justice. It's too shattered to be cathartic.
Ah, 2008. The WGA strike effected year that was also the last time that Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress were true jump balls. I remember the lineup taking awhile to take shape, but Jolie was always in the conversation for a summer movie that didn't do well financially (no surprise given the release of such a movie during the summer of sequel-o-rama). But this ended up being a year where all of the ultimate nominees premiered at film festivals (Sundance for The Savages, Berlin for La Vie en Rose, Telluride for Juno, TIFF for Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and the previous year's(!) TIFF for Away from Her) without big hype from any particular corner, so I really felt like it was possible for Jolie to hang on for a nomination, despite lukewarm support down the stretch. I think her performance here is far better and multi-dimensional than either of her Oscar nominated performances and suspect that her miss for A Mighty Heart did boost her into the lineup the next year for Changeling (coupled with Pitt being a contender for Benjamin Button that same year).
As, alas, it turns out to be. It also turns out to be the insuperable problem A Mighty Heart cannot solve. If this were a fictional film in which the possibility of rescue remains alive until the end, the possibilities for suspense would be endless and ever-tightening. But the sad fact is that we know Danny Pearl's fate before we enter the theater. Fascinating as these characters are, interesting as the events of its chase often are, we cannot escape the fact that the movie's ending is known to us, that history's course cannot be altered. We can (and do) admire Mariane's courage, the patient tenacity of the \"The Captain\" (Irrfan Khan) the lead Pakistani investigator, the sweetness of Dan Futterman's portrayal of Danny Pearl. But what we have, in essence, is a kind of police procedural in which the procedures do not bear fruit. 153554b96e