By Joel Peraz (Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines)
Megan Leavey is one of the best war drama I have ever seen. The moment that she entered the Marine Corps, you are invested into it. It is one of few examples that a drama film is at its best when it is not overly dramatic both on the acting and script.
The story is basically about a girl named Megan Leavey (played by Kate Mara) who entered the US Marine and became a K9 handler which went out to be the greatest thing that ever happened to her.
The story and the characters were developed so quick that at times that it felt rushed but it is also a good thing because the entire film is under two hours so it wasn’t tiring. The moments went by so well without any unnecessary scenarios that could have distorted the film to the wrong direction. I will thank anyone I could give thanks to for not forcing the romance because it wasn’t really the thing that would give this film that unique flare. It could easily be written off and just focused more on how she was able to get closer to her dog Rex in such a tough situation. But still, it didn’t try to overdo the sentiments it is trying to point out. It was raw and real. It just showed the right amount of emotions. The balance of sweetness and toughness showed through Megan is so genuine.
Another thing that added to its realistic approach is the cinematography. It is constantly moving and at certain points, it showed great POV-type of shots that made you feel as if you are the one in that exact moment. None of it was dull on overly fixed. It was even more shaky at some intense moments and it is a great thing. It blended well to the touch of reality the movie is trying to tell. If there’s anything I can classify as a flaw in this movie, it’s not even going to matter because at the end of the day, it would still be a recommendable film for everyone.
Kate Mara isn’t the type of actress that you would watch out for every year or even Gabriela Cowperthwaite isn’t the director you would expect to see each and every time, but this spectacular drama just changed my whole opinion of both ladies. This is definitely Mara’s finest performance and Cowperthwaite’s best work since Blackfish in 2013.
My final opinion of this film is somehow, it is a movie that shows women empowerment in a subtle way, but it is the right way to put it. The film remained faithful to its message about a sudden bond that grew to something bigger, something more than military duties that changed the course of her life.
This film is one of those under-the-radar gems that rarely gets reviewed hence, the film gets lesser exposure to mainstream audience. This film is what people deserve. This is what people should be getting than the big-budgeted repetitive blockbuster films that’s basically a rip-off of another because when the options narrowed down to a few worthy selections, this is the type that one should definitely choose.
A drama worth crying for, but also a drama that will have you smiling for days, weeks, or even forever. This is definitely a top-5 movie of 2017 for me.