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A Mighty Heart - Blu-ray DVD / drama DVD / suspense DVD review
A MIGHTY HEART Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Actors: Angelina Jolie, Dan Futterman, Archie Panjabi, Mohamme Afzal, Daud Khan, Telal Saeed
Director: Michael Winterbottom Studio: Paramount
DVD release: 24 March 2009 Runtime: 108 min.
(1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ration 2.35:1, Audio tracks (Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround - English; Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1 Surround - English, Spanish, French), Subtitles (English, English SDH, Spanish, French, Portugese), A Journey of Passion: The Making of A Mighty Heart, PSA - Pearl Foundation w/ Christiane Amanpour, Committee to Protect Journalists, Theatrical trailer

in 2002, Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and later beheaded. A Mighty Heart recounts those events and the desperate search for Pearl. The filmmakers don't try to surprise us with this; certainly most Americans know about this incident on some level. The story focuses on strong-willed Mariane Pearl (Angelina Jolie) and her valiant effort to find her husband. She is herself a journalist and about six months pregnant at the time.

We are compelled by her strength and determination and apparent objectivity in the face of the kidnapping of her husband. When she gets some media coverage to talk about her missing husband, she makes a point of mentioning the other kidnappings and acts of terrorism against non-Americans. How many of us would be able to show the same strength?

A Mighty Heart is a difficult film to watch. Going into it we know that it won't end well, yet we are drawn by the strength of Mariane. She inspires those around her; her logic is compelling. I know I wouldn't be able to show the same backbone in her shoes.

Angelina Jolie is excellent in the role of Mariane, a far leap from glitzier films where she plays the femme fatale. I worried going in that I'd be unable to not see Lara Croft, but Jolie laid them quickly to rest. She is an actress skilled at her craft, and she practically channels Mariane Pearl. Director Michael Winterbottom does deal with Danny Pearl's kidnapping but wisely removes him entirely from the film during his captivity. This serves to make the audience feel as helpless and impotent as Mariane and everyone else who sought Daniel must have felt, though we can never truly know.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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