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A Mighty Heart

3.8 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Based on Mariane Pearl's account of the terrifying and unforgettable story of her husband, Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl's life and death.

Amazon.com

A Mighty Heart comes at the murder of journalist Daniel Pearl with a de-glamorized intensity: it's not a melodrama about Pearl's kidnapping and killing at the hands of Islamic terrorists, but a near-documentary about the process of trying to find him. Thus the center of the film is not Pearl (Dan Futterman) but his wife Mariane (Angelina Jolie), a cool customer who manages--almost--to maintain her calm throughout the weeks-long ordeal. Director Michael Winterbottom is less overtly political here than in his Road to Guantanamo, although the reactions of various authorities, from U.S. officials to local Pakistani cops, give the flavor of different attitudes and approaches. Jolie, playing the Dutch-Afro-Cuban Mariane Pearl, does nicely at playing her character's control (others marvel at her sangfroid), yet she remains recognizably human throughout. By no means a star turn, the movie leaves Mariane for long stretches, and other actors shine: Irfan Khan as a detective, Denis O'Hare as Daniel Pearl's Washington Post editor, and Will Patton as a stymied diplomat. As engrossing as the movie generally is, the point of emphasizing the police-procedural method is sometimes obscure. Oddly enough, by rejecting the usual string-pulling of conventional Hollywood drama, A Mighty Heart ends up without a strong point of view--as good as its pieces are. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • Journey of Passion: The Making of A Mighty Heart
  • Public Service Announcement
  • Committee to Protect Journalists

Product Details

  • Actors: Angelina Jolie, Dan Futterman, Irrfan Khan, Archie Panjabi, Mohammed Afzal
  • Directors: Michael Winterbottom
  • Writers: John Orloff, Mariane Pearl
  • Producers: Andrew Eaton, Anita Overland, Arti Gupta, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Paramount Vantage
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2007
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VBB6F6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,384 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Mighty Heart" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark #1 HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 17, 2007
Format: DVD
"A Mighty Heart" has brought a terrible story of loss to film. The director creates a web of suspense and uneasiness that is meant to convey the feelings of being a foreign journalist in Pakistan at that time. While Marianne never gets Daniel back, her resilience shines through and makes us feel that his memory will live on.

Daniel Pearl appears in the early frames of the film as he attempts to arrange to meet with a controversial figure. Most of the film's remainder is centered around the frantic attempts by Pakistani Secret Police, the FBI, French Intelligence, and Marianne to track down his captors and negotiate his safe return.

Angelina Jolie plays Marianne, wife of slain journalist Daniel Pearl. The film is based on her autobiographical book, A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Danny Pearl. Jolie's performance is largely good. She is caught in several technical break-down's in her futile attempts to mimic Marianne's French accent. Still, it's a good effort that will not take away for most viewers.

Director Michael Winterbottom emphasizes the chaos and uncertainty with minimal lighting and many hand-held shots. In that sense he makes the film feel like a documentary, which is no small feat. The original score is made up of tense mood music that prevents the audience from settling in. It underlines a soundtrack almost exclusively made of Indian music. A Mighty Heart (Music From The Motion Picture)

Still, the director is almost too adept at his drama and suspense.
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Format: DVD
The harrowing images of Benazir Bhutto's assassination bring to light the pervasive instability of Pakistan's political system, and even though over five years have elapsed since The Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl's kidnapping and murder, director Michael Winterbottom has captured a frenetic, scarifying atmosphere in this 2007 film that feels as current as the latest news on CNN. I cannot imagine the unrelenting nightmare Mariane Pearl, five months pregnant, must have felt for those endless weeks back in early 2002 when her husband was being held hostage by radical Islamic terrorists in Karachi. Winterbottom, along with screenwriter John Orloff, brings visceral life to her stunning 2003 memoir by taking a docudrama approach similar to Paul Greengrass' immensely powerful United 93 and applying it to her disheartening experience. This lends a halting realism to the film but at a price since it also obscures some of the narrative flow as a result.

The story begins on the day of Daniel Pearl's disappearance when he arranged to meet with a Muslim cleric named Sheikh Gilani for an interview. After a discombobulating ride through the teeming urban jungle of Karachi, it becomes clear it was a set-up for his capture. We see the chaotic unfurling of events and the agonizing realization of a desperate situation through Mariane's eyes.
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Format: DVD
'The film's strict avoidance of exploitation and sensationalism only adds to the film's emotional impact. In just a few scenes, Futterman - the acclaimed screenwriter of Capote - digs deeply into Daniel as a journalist and a man. But the film belongs to Jolie. This is by far her best performance, strong and true in every detail from Mariane's accent (her roots are Dutch and Afro-Cuban) to the strength she shows under fire. Her total immersion in the role keeps the film from getting lost in the rush of details." Peter Travers

Mariane Pearl wrote a book about her experiences while her husband Daniel Pearl was held captive by Jihadists. The book 'The Brave Life and Death of my husband, Danny Pearl' is but a piece of this film. The film is badly named to begin with, doesn't have the catch for an audience. However, the acting and history of Pakistan and the Jihads far out way any negativity.

Angelina Jolie has marked this role as her own and she has perfected it. As has been mentioned numerous times her accent and look became Mariane. But at the same time Angelina Jolie was too much for the movie. It should have been a hit. The other numerous cast were absolutely right for their roles- no gratuitous violence overshadowed the film. We all knew how it was going to end, and the telling of Danny;s murder was held with aplomb. Mariane falls apart and goes to her room to keel. However, this was too much, were we all thinking 'is this overdone', is this just right, has this gone on too long'?

The history of Pakistan and the part it played in the jihad and in Al qaeda is the mainframe of the story. What was it that attracted the Jihad to Danny Pearl, and why did they plan his kidnapping and resultant death?
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