JC REVIEWS 'PATRIOT'S DAY'
This film made me lose all respect for the Academy Awards. Why wasn’t it nominated? I am gob smacked that it wasn’t honored as one of the best and most important films of the year, if not several years.
Patriots Day doesn’t just explore the Boston Marathon bombings, it transports you back to the event giving you a true insight into the lead up of the bombing and the subsequent 4 day manhunt that saw brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev bought to justice - if there is any justice for such crimes?
What had me transfixed were the details around the aftermath of the bombings that I either didn’t know about or, had somehow managed to forget; the lives lost after the initial bomb, the bombs that went off days later, the shootouts, and the overall carnage that ensued. We should never forget such matters and its critical story telling like this that makes us all remember.
In my opinion, the film is one of the most well researched and informed films of our time. The details covered from start to finish are nothing short of incredible. The stories are so accurate and the effort to recreate actual scenes really sets this apart from typical reenactment films. In some cases actual locations including houses of the real victims were used, adding to the already believable experience.
Less of a movie and more like a true recreation of actual events, the director definitely resisted the urge to sensationalise the events. Rather, the true story is told from several points of view. At no point does it feel like you are watching a dramatic film. Instead, you are witnessing one of the most tragic events unfolding before your very eyes.
The other incredible thing about this film is that whilst it has the star power of Boston born Mark Wahlberg (who also produced the film), he is by no means the solo star of the movie. The movie explores in depth where the phrase ‘Boston String’ came from, highlighting each and every person who had a hand in bringing those terrorists down.
Among the celebrated was the MIRT Cop who was killed stopping the brothers from getting his gun, the small town Sherriff who tackled one to the ground risking his life, and of course, the incredible Chinese hostage Dun Meng played by Jimmy O Yang. It was Dun who bravely escaped and made the critical 911 call that eventually led to the capture.
The film spotlights the other true hero’s, those who lost their lives as well as the victims injured. Particularly, those who lost their legs such as inspirational couple Jessica Kensky and her husband, Patrick Downes. Jessica and Patrick, along with other heroes, make an actual appearance in this film filling you with pride as well as a great deal of rage and sadness. The audience learns of the knock-on effects of the tragedy and those effected, from police officers and emergency services, to their families and the forgotten-about civilians who took cover in their basements during the shoot outs. The entire city remained on house lockdown. Such details can easily be forgotten about but should never be.
The victims who lost their lives are honored in an extremely tasteful way without trying in any way to exploit their loss. One of the most powerful scenes in the entire film was when we were taken to explore the loss of the gorgeous 8 year old, Martin Richard. This will bring even the toughest of you to tears.
Whilst there is a small element of insights into the pattern and behaviour of the masterminds, don’t be expecting a film that theorises about their motives or even explores their movements other than those that are factual and on record. The focus of the film is much more around a city that came together to fight hate and evil, and a city that would not be broken.
Mark Wahlberg delivers my favourite performance of his career and the rest of the cast are faultless. I could go on for days about this film but instead, I will just say get out and see it now!
Take the tissues and be ready to be completely transfixed. I personally would have had this nominated for best film and I thank everyone involved for sharing this powerful story, largely helping me to overcome my ignorance towards the devastating turn of events.