ENTERTAINMENT: “Unbroken” Tells Amazing Story Of WWII Survival


(Photo courtesy sheknows.com)

By Haley McNulty – Entertainment Editor

How far would you go for survival?

On December 25, “Unbroken” brought to the big screen the incredible and inspiring true story of a World War II POW camp survivor.

As a child, Louie Zamperini, to say the least, was a troublemaker. But, with the help of his brother, he learned to channel his energy into running. Many years later, Zamperini was headed for the 1936 Olympics. However, before he is able to compete, World War II begins, and instead he enlists in the Air Force.

Meeting incredible people along the way and being a part of a close-knit flight squad, Zamperini’s life comes to a halt when, on their way to reclaim hostages, their plane crashes in the Pacific.

Only two other crewmen, Phil and Mac, on his plane survive, and they sail adrift in two life rafts for an incredible 47 days with no food, little water, and very little hope. One by one, planes fly by, with no rescue in sight- one even begins firing at them, putting holes in their life rafts, but missing the three. Luckily, they patched the rafts, saving them, but only until they were surrounded by sharks.

Weeks later, Mac passes away from dehydration and malnourishment. Soon after, Louie and Phil are saved- sort of. Running into (literally) a Japanese Navy boat, the two are captured and sent to a Prisoner of War camp.

Separated along the way, Zamperini must survive the camp guard, whom they call “the Bird,” who has seemingly targeted him. Beatings, torture, and starvation are only a few of the things he must bear.

Directed by Angelina Jolie, “Unbroken” details how strong the human spirit is in the face of intimidation.

This movie was simply amazing. The few effects it required (such as the sharks, being lost at sea, gore, and war in general) were beautifully made. Simple things like large camera angles and a floating camera at sea gave this movie the touch it deserved.

The characters were very well-developed, and while the movie was very gory at times, being brutally honest, it was necessary to truly understand the pain that Zamperini went through when he underwent living in the camp.

Easy to follow, with great twists, like when Zamperini was given the news that “the Bird” was promoted, and he was elated in the hopes that the pain and torture would diminish. The following day, however, Zamperini’s entire camp is moved to new camp, a coal mine where they will work day in and day out, only to find that this camp was where the Bird was promoted to. Seeing the crushed look on Zamperini, knowing the devastation that he hadn’t escaped the Bird, was a definite tearjerker for the audience, and perfectly capturing what it must have been like for him.

Based on a true story, the movie had a beautiful conclusion, however it missed a few points, such as, what happened to Phil after the war? Did he make it out alive? After Louie and Phil are separated, we were given no conclusion as to where Phil went, what he went through, and how he did.

Overall, the movie was a definite success. A great plot, emotional acting, intricate details, and capturing characters made this movie simply inspiring. However, a seemingly unfinished conclusion made the movie only slightly disappointing. It’s a definite must-see.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


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