This is by no means a professional movie review. As I've told many people, I am not a book reader, but when I picked up "UNBROKEN" last summer, I could not put it down. It is by far, the best book I have ever read.
I also understand that most people believe that a book is always better than the movie. Now don't get me wrong, I loved the movie. It was well done, and stayed true to the story as told by Hillenbrand.
There are two important areas I truly feel are lacking in the movie and I thought I would take the time to write them down for anyone else who cares.
|The real "BIRD"|
Casting of Watanabe (The Bird)
Besides Louie Zamperini, this was the next most important person to cast. When reading the book, I pictured a person very different from whom Jolie cast. Takamasa Ishihara seemed much more slender and weaker than the person I imagined. Even the one picture of the real BIRD included in the book looked like a tougher and more stocky person.
|The "BIRD" in "UNBROKEN"|
It probably didn't help that I knew before seeing him that the actor portraying him was also an accomplished rock singer and music producer.
I also remember a scene in the movie where it showed a close-up of his hands. They were slender and well-manicured. They didn't look like the hands of someone who relished dishing out savage beatings.
Now the movie was a little over 2 hours, but I feel the end of it arrived so suddenly. Louie got off the plane, hugged his family and then the movie was over. Of course, there was the epilogue type updates with some pics, and then a video of the real Louie running with the torch for the Nagano Olympics.
The movie left out all of what his family was going through while he was missing and presumed dead. Why was Louie such a strong person? I would imagine a lot of that came from his family, but we saw so little of it. I remember reading about them and two very important parts of the story were not brought to life in the film.
When the War Department officially declared Louie dead the author goes on to say how his family would never admit that he was gone. His parents refused to believe he was dead. Of course, when they heard him on the radio broadcast, they knew they were right. I feel this was really important to show. It would have gone a long way to help show us part of what made Louie so strong.
Of course the movie mentions nothing about the struggles Louie went through when he came home. They glossed over it in the epilogue, but so many soldiers return home after war and feel so alone in their struggles. I feel it would have gone a long way to honor all of our vets who have dealt with so many of these struggles, i.e. addiction, abuse, suicide etc.
One of the most poignant parts of the book I recall was when Louie's family replayed his taped interview from Japan to him after he had come home. He immediately lost control and ripped up the tape never wanting to ever hear it. Of course, I can totally understand why. Again, this would really have added a lot to an amazing movie. I know, it's easy for me to sit here and make a few suggestions. Thanks for reading.