Tragedy. We certainly are feeling the brunt of it. Globally, we are caught in this turmoil and turbulence. Our lives rapidly under-fire by the hateful: Terrorism rampaging across our beautiful and diverse cities. We’re constantly being told to hate, to kill, and to maim, and people have lost their lives in order to propagate a terrible agenda.
Abhorrent attacks shock us to the core but years later, they become the biggest blockbuster or action movie. The question on our lips is how morally right these films are. Are we truly honouring the dead or are we trying to profit off their tragedy?
Patriot’s Day walks this line but manages to convey perhaps the greatest message.
Directed by Peter Berg, Patriot’s Day takes place during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing where three people lost their lives and many were injured in a terrorist attack. Following the lives of many of the victims as well as fictional police detective Tommy Saunders in moments leading up to the bombing and the shocking aftermath. As detectives try to zero in on the perpetrators, many try to rebuild their lives after the horror as the city reels from such a devastating attack.
Phenomenal performances populate this stirring film. From the minute the film starts, you are immersed in these lives. Though this teeters on emotional manipulation (somewhat expected in a real-life disaster flick,) it is crucial to realise that these people (bar Wahlberg’s Saunders,) existed and were blighted by this horrendous moment in their lives. Berg, as proven with Deepwater Horizon, makes the focus mostly about the humanity and the people, moreso than the action and the “hunt.” (There are moments, however, that turns this real life event into a cop show.) Berg even goes as far to showcase the lives of the attackers, to show how easy it is for American-bred terrorists to form extremist views and commit these heinous acts. Patriot’s Day is shocking but powerful in its handling of the terrible bombing.
Though Wahlberg’s performance as an overzealous police detective momentarily detracts from the true heart of the story, the acting here is phenomenal. From J.K. Simmons to Kevin Bacon, everyone is committed to showcasing this story in the best and most sensitive way. That being said, there will always be an element of why? Why is Hollywood telling this story? What are they trying to get out of it? It sits on your mind throughout without you ever having a satisfying conclusion.
The greatest impact of Patriot’s Day is the finale. Through the words of the actual victims and the montage of love that was poured into and from the city of Boston, Berg’s film does not, for one minute, discriminate against a race or religion. Instead, it showcases horrors from around the globe of countries that have been hurt by terrorism and asks that we fight back with acceptance, understanding, and a unifying family. If we stand strong with love, then we can overcome and move forward in a better place.
Patriot’s Day is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now!