Marie Colvin, a fearless journalist who dared to tell stories that others wouldn’t. A Private War review brought to you by AboutFlick’s Mr T.
Director: Matthew Heineman
Review: A Private War paints an intimate portrait of Marie Colvin, a war correspondent for The Sunday Times. From her assignment covering the Sri Lankan civil war, where she lost one of her eyes to her exposé in Syria, she is depicted as a fearless journalist who dared to tell the stories others wouldn’t. The movie serves as a haunting reminder about the costs of war and the toll it effects on not only the ones who engage in it, but also the people around them. The neutral tone and the reluctance to glorify or vilify anyone was refreshing.
Rosamund Pike is an amazing actress and she brings Colvin’s passion for reporting stories about the oppressed to life, while also fleshing out her inner turmoil as she does so. It’s a testament to her mastery of the craft, the way she nails the accent and gets under the skin of the character. While acknowledging her courage and grit, Colvin is presented as not someone to be placed on an altar to be worshipped, but as a victim instead. In my opinion, Gone Girl is still Pike’s best, but this isn’t that far off. Tom Hollander, who we all recognize as the voice of reason from features like Bohemian Rhapsody and Taboo, plays the exact same character here and to good effect. Jamie Dornan ends his disappointing acting streak in the Fifty Shades series and finally redeems himself with a beautifully acted role as a photojournalist.
Matthew Heineman’s documentary background is evident in the urgency the scenes are shot, as he urges us to empathize with those bearing the brunt of war. This film should resonate with intelligent audiences in an era where journalists are being persecuted by the state and militants alike. With her balanced reporting, Marie Colvin is an inspiration to the numerous young and impressionable journalists out there who are trying to do their part as the fourth pillar of democracy, especially in an environment conducive to belligerent rabble-rousing and chest-thumping rather than nuanced, fact-based journalism.
Rating: My rating is 4/5.
Who should watch this: People who like movies on journalism or war that are not over the top. Also check out Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016), All The President’s Men (1976), The Insider (1999), The Post (2017), Spotlight (2015), American Sniper (2014), Dunkirk (2017) and Thank You For Your Service (2017).