A Mighty Heart, the movie based on the kidnapping and killing of the Wall Street Journal‘s Daniel Pearl, was screened at the Cannes film festival last night, and the initial reviews are all very good, given the grim nature of the subject.
Hollywood Reporter‘s Ray Bennett says Angelina Jolie has delivered “a well-measured and moving performance as the reporter’s wife, Mariane” and that the film’s “even-handed approach to incendiary topics should generate substantial interest.”
Although the film alarmingly implies that torture works when one suspect reveals names under duress, Bennett says A Mighty Heart reflects the dispassionate view espoused by Mariane, who sees that it is misery that breeds terrorism.
TimeOut‘s Dave Calhoun finds the film compelling and Jolie impressive. “A strong theme of the film is the downside of global communication and co-operation as different interests and ideas and prejudices collide in the search for Pearl.”
For a British publication, Calhoun looks at the film through a British prism, saying it is compelling and has a special, sad potency as the disappearance of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston now reaches its tenth week.
Variety‘s Justin Chang finds the material just right for director Michael Winterbottom, the screenplay crisp, the editing rapid, and the film authentic, restrained and altogether unsentimental.
Derek Malcolm of London Evening Standard says the film which could be as confusing as the five-week-long search for Pearl, mirrors Marianne’s generosity of spirit towards Pakistan.