Online Exclusive Movie Review: A Mighty Heart

By Hoang-Mai Hong

As with United 93, many questioned the timing of A Mighty Heart, whether it was too soon to touch the very recent and very tragic events depicted in the film. However, as United 93 proved, it is never too soon when done well enough. Thankfully, the makers of A Mighty Heart have likewise noble intentions and treat the subject with the utmost care, while at the same time turning out a great film as well.

First off, a lot of people have been turned off simply by the mention of Angelina Jolie’s name at the top of the marquee. This shouldn’t be the case. Though deserving of a spotlight for her performance as Mariane Pearl, the story-based on Pearl’s memoirs around the time of the infamous and tragic kidnapping and beheading of her husband, Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl-is very much at the forefront, despite appearances. It is paced well in a procedural style, and the emotions are as immediate as though it happened yesterday, which may seem like the case for many.

Jolie’s extraordinary performance drives these emotions, and her sordid tabloid life is and should be immediately pushed aside while watching this film. Simply put, A Mighty Heart is about Mariane and Daniel Pearl, and that a passionate performance can override such a typified cast is a feat in and of itself. As with United 93, the film attempts to have no political agenda either, by simply presenting events as they happened in 2002. The film combines the events and investigation of the tragedy as they unfold, along with brief flashbacks of how the two journalists met and fell in love. Combined, it packs an emotional punch, and the audience really gets a sense of not only how much these two meant to each other, but how much the journalism profession meant to them and how much the community of journalists meant to each other in the wake of Daniel Pearl’s murder.

Though the events of A Mighty Heart may seem a little too recent to touch, the film proves that this is not the case. It preserves and honours the memory of Daniel Pearl admirably, as well as the woman and the community of journalists survived by him.

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