A Mighty Heart is one sentence- the best possible depiction of reality on celluloid. It is inspired by a true story with possibly one of the most gruesome conclusions to it. This is a ‘real’ account of the kidnapping and subsequent execution of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. He represents the boldest and most admirable side of the profession we call journalism and a few like him would call passion. Daniel Pearl was out to conduct one of those potentially dangerous interviews in search of the hidden face of Islamic terrorism and the ideological stereotypes attached to it. He wished to go beyond the established conventions of terrorism and its popular notions. However, he was well aware of the risk factor involved, he consulted a number of authorities, security personnel and other journalists who all shared the same belief, that as long as the meeting is held in a public place, it should ‘perhaps’ be alright. But sadly, nobody at that stage was far sighted enough to foresee an end of this sort.
The movie however, derives its name not only from the courage displayed by Daniel Pearl alone, but also from the strength of character possessed by his wife. In the midst of all the turmoil, a pregnant woman frantically searching for traces of her missing husband, she is also portrayed as someone with extraordinary faith and resilience. The character of Marianne Pearl, also a journalist, played brilliantly by Angelina Jolie is inspiring if nothing beyond. She embodies the eternal spirit of a fighter with immense courage and determination. She is perturbed, but displays admirable pragmatism which in most cases like this is the first causality.
The Mighty Heart is also a poignant account of how the Diplomatic Security Service, Department of Justice, The FBI and Special Agents all join the search for Pearl. It also very subtly throws light on the under currents of the blame game between India and Pakistan and how they manage to creep into every issue, including the mysterious abduction of Pearl. The kidnapping conspiracy unfolds and the story brings to life the abduction of Daniel from Karachi and his being kept in a small camp on the outskirts of the city. The incorrect news of his death does the rounds a number of times in order to maintain the threat and keep the fear alive. But eventually all rumors are put to rest and all speculations and analogies reach a dead end when the horrifying video of his murder is sent to the authorities. The brutality of an innocent man being beheaded by Ahmed Omar Sheikh and his men is actually recorded on videotape. All the tireless and relentless efforts of putting together a network to bring back Daniel Pearl are shattered….
The film is brilliantly put together, backed by spectacular performances by the leads- Angelina Jolie, Irfan Khan, Archie Punjabi and Will Paton.
The movie brings to life one of the most terrifying incidents of injustice. It takes you to the heart of ‘their’ world. It makes you smell fear. It gives you a taste of helplessness. Daniel Pearl is just one such story brought to light and lamented over. There are many more who have suffered the same plight and their voices waiting to be heard………….!!!!
IS ANYBODY LISTENING????