Friday, February 19, 2016

Book or Movie: Which did it better?

The film “Unbroken,” was directed by Oscar winning actress, Angelina Jolie, and is based on the dramatic, yet incredible story of Olympic winning athlete and war hero, Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell). The film explores the survival of three American soldiers, including Zamperini, after their plane crashed into the ocean during a mission that occurred during WWII. After surviving the crash, they were captured and held captive by the Japanese military for 47 days. During their captivity, Zamperini and his fellow comrades endured torture and starvation, which I felt was amazingly portrayed by the actors who starred in the film, one of the many reasons why I enjoyed the film more than the book itself.

Not only were the effects of the film spot on incredible, but the set designers for the film did an amazing job in taking the viewers back in time to the early 1930’s and mid 1940’s, when WWII was occurring. As a viewer we were able to visually experience significant parts of Zamperini’s life, his years as a juvenile delinquent, his leading candidacy in breaking the 4-minute barrier in the mile run, the beginnings of his self-discipline and training for distance running in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and his enlistment in the United States Army Air Corps in 1941.

I think most can agree with me on this, which is that the best part of the film is when Louis Zamperini is at the peak of having endured so much torture and harsh cruel treatment from the Japanese POW camp and his biggest tormentor, Mutsuhiro Watanabe. In this part of the film, Watanabe scolds and forces Zamperini to stand surrounded by his American troops, and carry a large, heavy, wooden bar. Most viewers and readers expected Zamperini to drop the bar, since he is at his weakest in the film. This was also expected by Watanabe, who was hoping to humiliate Zamperini in front of the troops that surrounded him.

Little did we know that this was actually his most strongest and triumphant moment, he held the 6 foot wooden bar for 37 minutes! This enraged Watanabe, since he envied the strength and pride that filled Zamperini. This is definitely a moment of pride not only for Zamperini himself, but for his troops, the viewers and the readers of this book, definitely a wonderful moment recreated and captured on film that I was not able to visualize with such preciseness as the film did.

Review by Library Student Worker, Nereyda Perez

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