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I am a sucker for inspirational stories so when I first heard of the movie unbroken I definitely wanted to see it. It took quite some time but I eventually got around to seeing it. I don't know what took me so long. I guess there were a lot of blockbuster movies that got in the way and somehow I forgot about watching it.
Recently it was added to Netflix and I got the chance to finally check it out. The movie is about an American Olympian that enlisted himself to fight for World War II.
The movie does a nice little background story to tell you about the main character Louis Zamperini (played by Jack O'Connell). He grew up in a devout Italian Christian background. His parents barely spoke a lick of English as they were first generation immigrants.
He would often get into trouble when he was a youngster and would soon later find his calling when he became a school track star. He was so good that he would eventually go on to qualify for the Olympic games.
His success was halted when World War II started up. He enlists himself as a soldier to help out in the war effort.
You soon see the perils of war and his company plane goes down into the ocean. Only he and two others survive the crash.
This is when the movie really starts. It's a pretty crazy story and some of it is so outrageous you start wondering if it's true or not. It's probably true but it's crazy.
Was this an inspirational story? I would say yes and no. Yes the feats that Louis had to go through are inspiring but some of the scenes for some reason felt very heavy handed. It almost felt like a propaganda movie at times.
Propaganda for what? I'm not totally sure. Pro-American and anti-Japanese sentiments? Or a pro religion film? A little bit of both but it was entertaining.
I found it really weird that even though Louis and the other Japanese prisoners were in prison for years and yet they were always perfectly shaved and their hair was always cut properly. These prisoners were starved and worked like crazy why would the Japanese soldiers ensure that their hair was properly coiffed and that they were cleanly shaved?
Some of the torture scenes felt kind of weird because you'd see Louis get beat up to a pulp and then in the next scene he wouldn't be bruised up at all he'd have maybe some dirt on his face and maybe a scratch. I think these little details really kind of threw me off the movie a little and perhaps this is the same reason why I felt it was sort of like a propaganda movie. The characters were a little too done up.
In addition to this, you don't see too much of the bad issues that went on in the prisoner camp. If people were treated that bad I'm sure that they would have attempts at suicide and people going absolutely nuts but they kind of shied away from these topics altogether.
There was one scene that made me kind of groan. It was a Japanese torture scene where he had to pick up some sort of log as punishment and they made him look like Jesus Christ or something. The symbolism was obvious and was really cheesy when I saw it.
Overall, it was a nice little film that people can watch and enjoy. It's incredible that anyone can withstand so much craziness in their lives and go on to live a happy long life. I think this movie is particularly aimed at religious Americans but others can enjoy it as well. I would give this movie a 7 out of 10. I was able to watch this with full attention and still be entertained.