JOLIE ACTS FROM THE HEART; Crude Awakening ... Kevin Adams, Left, and Adam Sandler Discover It's Not Easy Being a Gay Couple in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry Terrible Truth ... Angelina Jolie, Right, and Archie Panjabi Search for Answers in A Mighty Heart. Inset Left: Dan Futterman as Daniel Pearl

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), September 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

JOLIE ACTS FROM THE HEART; Crude Awakening ... Kevin Adams, Left, and Adam Sandler Discover It's Not Easy Being a Gay Couple in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry Terrible Truth ... Angelina Jolie, Right, and Archie Panjabi Search for Answers in A Mighty Heart. Inset Left: Dan Futterman as Daniel Pearl


Byline: Matthew Bond

There is a temptation to dismiss A Mighty Heart as nothing more than avanity project for Angelina Jolie. After all, partner Brad Pitt bought therights to Mariane Pearl's book, he co-produces the subsequent film and she, ofcourse, takes the central role of Mariane, wife of Daniel Pearl, the WallStreet Journal reporter kidnapped and murdered by Al Qaeda terrorists inPakistan in 2002.

But to dismiss the picture in such a way would be unfair. Pitt and Jolie may beTinseltown's glossiest couple but they've clearly given serious thought -perhaps taking advice from their friend George Clooney - to how the proceedsfrom commercial moneyspinners such as Mr And Mrs Smith, Lara Croft and theOcean movies should be reinvested.

I've seen it twice now and A Mighty Heart is a good film; indeed it's a betterfilm than I gave it credit for when I first saw it at this year's Cannes FilmFestival, where the glitz and glamour did it no favours.

At last week's screening, I watched it with BBC reporter Frank Gardiner -gunned down by Al Qaeda terrorists in Saudi Arabia in 2004 - sitting just infront of me. 'Is my wheelchair in your way?' he asked, unwittingly underliningthe film's relevance in the most powerful way.

Thanks to Pitt and Jolie having the good sense to bring in British directorMichael Winterbottom, A Mighty Heart is intelligent, has integrity andpossesses not a single frame of Hollywood gloss.

Using the same hand-held cameras and quick-fire editing he employed for hisgrimly realistic 2003 picture about illegal immigration, In This World, andretaining some of the anger that led to The Road To Guantanamo in 2006,Winterbottom does a superb job of capturing the chaos and confusion of Karachi.It is here that Pearl was kidnapped and, in a compound just beyond the cityperimeter, met his terrible death.

But this is not Daniel Pearl's story: except in flashback, fantasy or emailedphotograph we do not see him again once a taxi has dropped him at therestaurant where he had been promised an interview with a cleric who couldfurther his inquiry into the shoebomber Richard Reid.

No, this is the story of Mariane, an experienced journalist herself whorealises her husband has been set up within hours of his failure to returnhome. Working alongside Daniel's Indian colleague, Asra Nomani (well played byBritish actress Archie Panjabi), she discovers the mobile numbers he has beengiven don't work and the email address, when translated from Urdu, carries aworrying religious message.

Despite seeking the advice of security officials and the American Embassy,Daniel has walked into a trap.

Bravely, the film implies that Pearl himself may have been partly to blame forhis plight. Not only were his defences down because he was within 24 hours ofleaving Pakistan, he may also have succumbed to that addiction to danger andintrigue that afflicts so many experienced foreign correspondents.

And he would never deny he was a

Jew; indeed in one scene we even see him correcting an Islamic cleric whobelieves he is being interviewed by a Christian. Commendably brave or downrightfoolish, it's a tough call. As I said after seeing the film in Cannes, I dothink it's a little strange to find Jolie, who is white, playing Mariane, whois of Afro-Cuban and Dutch origins. But, that said, there's no doubt she givesa very honest performance, never glamorising her character; never trying tomake the courageous and emotionally contained woman more sympathetic than sheactually is.

Only when Mariane learns of her husband's unequivocal death does she breakdown, in scenes bound to capture the attention of the major award juries.

There's no doubt A Mighty Heart is hard to watch: it's emotionally restrained;the Pakistani police investigation is difficult to keep up with and, of course,there is no happy ending. But it's also a convincing and brutally revealinginsight into our dangerous modern world. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

JOLIE ACTS FROM THE HEART; Crude Awakening ... Kevin Adams, Left, and Adam Sandler Discover It's Not Easy Being a Gay Couple in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry Terrible Truth ... Angelina Jolie, Right, and Archie Panjabi Search for Answers in A Mighty Heart. Inset Left: Dan Futterman as Daniel Pearl
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.