On the anniversary of one the most prolific activist of our time…Nelson Mandela, I sit watching Unbroken. As I view this masterpiece, I am reminded of a news broadcast in which Louis Zamperini was named Grand Marshall for the 2015 Rose Bowl. Shortly thereafter, he passed away at the ripe old age of 97. I had no idea who he was or what type of life he had led.
Having said that, Angelina Jolie has inspired and excelled in many areas within the entertainment industry and through her activism around the world for communities that are suffering or treated inhumanely.
However, it is her foray into directing UNBROKEN that is her most impressive move yet. Based on true events, Unbroken documents the true life story of Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini, who joined the armed forces during the second world war and was taken prisoner by the Japanese navy after a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean.
Jack O’Connor is astonishingly mesmerizing as Louis Zameperini. He captures the torment, anguish and “unbroken” spirit for which our Olympians have been known and admired for decades of American history. One scene in particular, where he is tortured and repeatedly/reluctantly punched in the face by his fellow Americansis simultaneously disturbing, yet heartbreaking.
Another standout is Takamasa Ishihara in his first major American feature film. He is particularly despicable as the Japanese prison camp Sgt. Mutshushiro Watanabe, who gets much enjoyment and satisfaction by mentally and physically torturing Zamperini. He should be a shoe in for a Best Supporting nod for sure, because I seriously wanted to slap the hell out himself for being such a ridiculously cruel bully.
Unbroken takes you a a roller coaster or emotions from beginning to end. One scene, after the plane crashes is beautifully shot as Zamperini fights his way out of wreckage and swims to the surface to search for fellow survivors.
The Coen Brother screenplay adapted from the book by Laura Hillenbrand is flawless and is complimented by the Coldplay original song Miracles.