Unbroken DVD Review

DVD Review by Jon E Clist & Jarred Tito

The Premise
The life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who joined the armed forces during the Second World War. Only to be captured by the Japanese navy after a plane crash in the Pacific. During his capture, Louie must continue his fight by surviving through the war.

The Review
Talk about a dramatic story to take to the big screen. I have read parts of this story before and it is a truly amazing story of survival and forgiveness. I have certainly been inspired now to go and read the book to draw deep into the emotions behind this amazing man’s tale of life.

First let’s chat about the cast of Unbroken. These actors are truly brilliant, from the child actors through to the core cast members of Jack O'Connell and Domhnall Gleeson. However I think that one of the cast members that truly makes this film powerfully moving is Actor Takamasa Ishihara (who portrays the cruel POW camp boss, Watanabe). This guy is amazing as you can’t help but completely and utterly hate him, which really was the goal of this element of the story. In interviews he has said that he had to keep his distance from Jack O'Connell (who portrays Zamperini) on set in order to perform the acts of brutality towards him that were required for his role. Plus Ishihara found performing the scene in which Zamperini is forced to hold a beam over his head at gunpoint so upsetting and intense that he vomited on set.

This is an intense film that deserves to be seen and experienced for many reasons. Firstly I think that Jolie has done an outstanding job creating an emotional charged war movie that moves the soul to hate war and love the human spirit and it's drive to survive. Secondly, this is the platform for a larger story of forgiveness, as you will find in the footnotes to this film that Louie went on to not only thrive as a person but also to forgive those who caused him so much pain and torment. Finally, life is hard at times and we all need to see a story of someone overcoming it, to inspire us to knuckle down and ride the waves of misfortune.

I chatted with fellow reviewer Jarred Tito as soon as we had watched the film to grab our first impressions. Have a listen...
The Verdict
Another reason that war films are coming back in to focus in a big way. A deeply moving emotional story of the triumph of the human spirit.

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 20th May 2015
Rating: M – Contains violence
Duration: 137 minutes 
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Jack O'Connell, Domhnall Gleeson & Jai Courtney
Director: Angelina Jolie (In the Land of Blood and Honey)

The Extras
Louis Zamperini passed away on July 2, 2014. He was able to watch a rough cut of the film on director Angelina Jolie's laptop while in the hospital before he passed.

Universal Studios bought the rights to the story of Louis Zamperini in 1957 in the hope of developing it for Tony Curtis. In later years, Nicolas Cage expressed an interest. The project finally got the green light after Laura Hillenbrand's 2010 book about Zamperini became a best-seller.

While Zamperini and Phil are floating out at sea on the raft, the picture of a woman that Phil looks at is actually the real photo of his sweetheart and later wife, provided by his daughter to Angelina Jolie during filming.

Louis Zamperini became a devoted follower to Jesus Christ and went back to Japan and forgave those who hurt him while he was kept prisoner.

Due to chickenpox, Angelina Jolie was not able to attend the premiere.

The film was shown at the Casina Pio IV, headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, at the Vatican on January 8, 2015. Pope Francis, who was aware of Louis Zamperini's story, did not attend the screening, but did meet the film's director, Angelina Jolie, and Luke Zamperini, the late athlete's son, afterwards.