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4.0 out of 5 stars24
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 8 September 2015
A documentary/film. Flits about a bit and more 'fly on the wall' drama but still a powerful film - would recomend it.
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on 6 January 2009
The film tries to tell the story of Daniel Pearl, a journalist for the Wall Street Journal who gets kidnapped and murdered by extremists. Unfortunatley it fails to delivery on an emotional level. Angelina Joline is superb, probably her best role ever but unfortunately the rest of the story telling is just so weak. We are left to make certain assumptions as the film jumps around from one scene to another. One minute they're interrogating someone in jail and the next minute there's a hundred police smashing down someone's door and carting off a load of people. We assume that the detainee has cracked and given some intelligence but we don't really know. This happens continually throughout the film. There are also flashbacks but again we're not sure, we think it's part of the next scene but then it clicks it's in the past, again. Very poor direction. It's hard to get attached to any of the characters, despite Joline's performance, her character is pretty tough and speaks like a robot with a French accent. The atmosphere in the streets of Karachi is very realistic but at the end of the day the story is poorly told with a lack of emotion that ultimately spoils what could have been a very enlightening film.
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on 12 March 2008
The abduction and gruesome murder of Daniel Pearl by Islamic terrorists in Karachi was a tragic event in a sea of tragic events over the world. This film is a straight dramatisation of this story, seen from the point of view of Pearl's French wife, played by Angelina Jolie. The film is excellent in projecting local atmosphere and the authentic feeling is added to by a clutch of fine Pakistani actors playing the local characters. Angelina Jolie displays a very convincing French accent. She plays the part of a spouse who is unnaturally calm, even hard, in response to her husband's fate but on hearing of his death, she breaks down with a loud and chilling wailing which is quite unnerving.

Most of the action covers the efforts of the local CID to trace the terrorists (they have received the obligatory video) by clever cross referencing of telephone contacts but ultimately it is all too late. The workings of the security people is portrayed in a low key way - busy people going about their business, working on the problems in a methodical way.

The problem with this film is the material. It is not suitable for a feature film of this length. We know the ending and because the action is probably very close to what happened, there is no inherent dramatic tension. Real life, even in these circumstances, is not very interesting. They could have done a 'based on' screenplay but this would have sensationalised things and would have been upsetting for his family. Making the film so soon after the event must have constrained the makers considerably. In my view, the best way to deal with this story is by a straightforward documentary. In such a film, the background to the execution could be explored in much more detail - Islamic terrorism, the political situation in Pakistan, interviews with the people involved. Docudrama is a very tricky format and often handled badly. It stems from the film and TV industry's belief that the viewer must be spoon-fed facts wrapped up to resemble our favourite police procedural to keep our attention.

This film is done well technically but what is it supposed to be? A drama for our enjoyment or an instructive tract for our illumination. I am afraid it largely fails from which ever angle you look at it.
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on 5 September 2015
True story .....well worth getting
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on 14 December 2014
everyone should buy this
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on 24 December 2014
Good quality DVD
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on 19 February 2015
great product
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on 1 December 2015
great film
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on 15 May 2012
One of the most haunting kidnaps of the century.The film gives moments of real empathy .Well acted and produced and a very difficult subject to cover. Daniel Pearl, not to be forgotten.
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on 7 February 2010
Although this is quite a serious film, I did enjoy it. Angelina Jolie gives a good performance, although I did find it a bit teary. Worth a watch.
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