A Personal Battle film evaluation: Rosamund Pike delivers Oscar-friendly efficiency on this potent drama

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4 years in the past, filmmaker Matthew Heineman stormed into the highlight with the terrifying Cartel Land, the place he took cameras proper into the center of machete fights and shootouts in drug-ridden Mexico, after which adopted it up with the much more spectacular Metropolis of Ghosts which chronicled an activist group in Syria. It isn’t shocking that his first foray away from documentaries is a documentary-like drama a few reporter within the midst of a nightmarish war-torn hellscape.

Rosamund Pike in A Personal Battle. Picture from Twitter @kstewart_jess

A Personal Battle, his new movie, options not simply putting imagery but in addition an unimaginable efficiency from Rosamund Pike as battle correspondent Marie Colvin who waded into the stomach of the beast a number of instances in Sri Lanka, Libya, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Syria and a number of other different international locations. Based mostly on the Vanity Fair article of the identical title by Marie Brenner, the movie serves each as a diatribe in opposition to battle and a chamber piece that brings Colvin’s searing character below a uncooked and affecting highlight.

The fascinating side of the movie is the talk on why somebody like Colvin dangers her life so many instances – is it that the story must be instructed or does she assume she is definitely making an enormous distinction to the world’s geopolitics regardless of being such a small cog within the wheel? Why waste a superbly good life interviewing dictators and despots when you can be at residence subsequent to your air conditioner? Colvin was no superhuman in fact, and the issues she noticed and skilled took a toll on her physique and thoughts – Heineman does nicely to transcend the stereotypical portrayal of a harassed girl, delving into intercourse and booze to take care of trauma, capturing a character that’s not solely troublesome to completely perceive, however straightforward to sympathise with. Via Colvin’s eyes we’re taken in by the undercurrent of the ethical dilemma a journalist faces, on whether or not they need to report straightforward and juicy tales a mean reader would favor to learn, or regardless of the incoming dying of print journalism they need to sacrifice the web page views and report the tales that matter.

One other triumph of the movie is how the movie by no means errors a resilient feminine character for a person, in that it doesn’t flip Colvin right into a manly character solely to depict energy. Colvin handled despair all her life and her vulnerabilities are on full show right here. Even when the movie is glorifying her work it doesn’t descend to hagiographic ranges as a result of her private life is the polar reverse, as she retains just a few folks like Conroy (Jamie Dornan) and her editor Sean (Tom Hollander) near her life. It appears each Pike, who showcases compact grit, and Heineman perceive that you will need to make sophisticated characters thrilling, however grounded in actuality even throughout probably the most dramatic moments, even when the occasions that occurred in the actual life Colvin’s life had been usually too unusual to imagine.

Your nerves will likely be shot by the point the movie ends. There’s something unique and distinctive in regards to the movie’s technique to show a battle thriller right into a dramatically charged character examine, and with a journalist who chronicled wars making a movie a few journalist who chronicles wars has an emotional authenticity that’s too potent to disregard. Anticipate Pike to be showing within the Oscar nominations listing a few months from now.

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