Friday, October 12, 2007

A Mighty Heart DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Revisits Beheading of Daniel Pearl By Terrorists

On January 23, 2002, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl (Dan Futterman) vanished soon after bidding farewell to his pregnant wife, Mariane (Angelina Jolie), and entering a taxi waiting outside the home of his colleague, Asra Nomani (Archie Panjabi). At the time, he was on assignment in Pakistan, following a promising tip which he expected to lead to a face-to-face interview with Sheik Mubarak Ali Gilani (Ikram Bhatti), a religious figure rumored to be behind assorted al-Qaeda operations.
But Pearl, a Jewish-American had been betrayed by his source, or by the cabbie, or both. And instead of breaking an exclusive story, he ended up in the hands of a mysterious man named Bashir (Aly Khan) a member of a secret cell of radical Muslims cell taking orders from 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed.
When the intrepid investigative journalist failed to return that evening, his understandably anguished spouse alerted the authorities. A massive manhunt ensued, a cooperative effort launched by the Pakistani police, the FBI, and agents of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service. This international team, armed only with a handful of often misleading clues, embarked on a futile attempt to crack the case.
For the next nine days, Danny was held incommunicado by kidnappers who issued a set of non-negotiable demands. Ultimately, the rescue mission was called off when a videotape of Pearl’s beheading was leaked over the Internet.
This whole horrifying ordeal is recounted in A Mighty Heart, a surprisingly-riveting docudrama featuring Angelina Jolie as Mariane. Jolie, dominating nearly every scene, is rather remarkable in this star vehicle, effectively conveying a convincing combination of unwavering dedication and the dire desperation of a woman who insists on remaining at the center of the search for her the love of her life.
A bittersweet bio-pic with a moving message.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for profanity.
In English, Urdu, French, Arabic and Siddhi with subtitles.
Running time: 108 minutes
Studio: Paramount Home Video
DVD Extras: “The Making of” and “Committee to Protect Journalists” featurettes, a Pearl Foundation public service announcement with Christiane Amanpour, and a theatrical trailer.

No comments: