By Shelby Fielding (Lubbock, Texas, US)
Patriots Day: A Fulfilling Patriotic Drama
Patriots Day is the brand new drama about a real life tragic event that took place 3 years ago in Boston, Massachusetts. In the past we’ve had films like Lone Survivor, 13 Hours, Act of Valor, Deepwater Horizon, and now Patriots Day. This film is directed by Peter Berg and stars Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, and J.K Simmons. It is based off the real life event of 2013 Boston marathon bombing. The film’s narrative mostly follows the lives of Tommy Saunders, Patrick Downes, Jessica Kensky, and Sergeant Jeffery Pugliese. We are introduced to these men and women, and then learn about how they were a part of this tragedy. We also learn exactly how they played role in helping find the people responsible for the bombing, and how it affected their everyday lives after the tragedy. This film is a well-directed and well performed drama that truly dissects this tragic event by encompassing a sense of intimacy and passion.
These types of films come with a bit of backlash as always. Due to the fact that when people view these films they usually carry their political beliefs in with them when watching the film. This is not only unfair to the film, but unfair to the audience members themselves. This truly doesn’t allow you to enjoy the film, because the entire film you are constantly belittling the film based upon its choices of characterization and portrayals of real life people. Nonetheless this film in my opinion is one of the best historically based drama/thrillers made yet. This film does a great job of encompassing this sense of realism and intimacy. The realism comes from the great direction of Peter Berg. He uses this inventive documentary style of filmmaking encompassing quick zooms and fast transitions to reflect the urgency of the real life event.
This film also includes time stamps almost to keep you up to date with the timeline of the situation. This partially reflects the stress and urgency of the situation that was thrusted upon the shoulders of these brave men and women. The filmmaking of the action is also done incredibly well making you feel so intimate with its sequences. You really feel as if you are part of the fight, and are fighting alongside these men and women. Peter Berg does this with brilliant long panning shots that are further progressed with a great use of cinematography. Another great part about this film was the portrayal of the terrorists. Because it doesn’t portray them as just evil people, but it actually gives meaning and understanding to these men. I found that so refreshing to watch.
As far as the performances go, Mark Wahlberg does a really good job in this film. I thoroughly enjoyed his performance, and it really felt so natural to watch him. John Goodman is also really good in the film, as well as Kevin Bacon, and the other performances are done pretty well. But, where the film falls apart is its pacing and it’s characterization of certain people. The pacing of the film is very oddly done switching from slow to fast back to slow then back to fast. It can cause some audience members to lose interest or find themselves confused. The film’s characterizations also fall short some times. The film relies heavily upon realism and these certain characteristic traits create a sense of fiction which takes apart from its main tone. This flaw doesn’t necessarily ruin the film, but it does cause a sense of confusion and hesitance.
Overall this is a really well directed and acted film that tells an inspiring story about freedom, love, and finding ones purpose in the face of danger. Though the film does have problems surrounding its pacing and it’s loss of its themes with its characterizations. Nonetheless I thoroughly enjoyed this film and appreciate its message and I’m going to give Patriots Day a B+. What did you think of Patriots Day? Is it a good testament to the real life events? What real life event do you want to see on the big screen next? Let me know down in the comments below and as always have a blessed day.
Sgt. Tommy Saunders: What I saw today, good versus evil, love versus hate. There’s only one weapon you have to fight back with, it’s love. You wrap your arms around each other, I don’t think there’s a way they could ever win.