Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Why I Won't See "Unbroken"

For those of you that have not read the book or seen the movie, be warned that spoilers abound beyond this line:

I'm not kidding...

While on our travels over Christmas, Mrs. YDP and I listened to a couple of audio books to pass the time.  One of the tomes to which we listened was Laura Hillebrand's Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.  It is the true story of Louis Zamperini who overcame the following in his amazing life:

  • Youthful delinquency
  • Combat raids in WWII
  • A horrible plane crash
  • Survival at sea longer than any other human at the time
  • Unspeakable punishment at a Japanese prisoner of war camp
  • A PTSD that prevented him from sleeping peacefully for years
  • Alcoholism
  • An insatiable desire to personally kill the Japanese guard which had done all of those unspeakable things to him
Angelina Jolie took on the story to bring it to the big screen, and without a doubt, it is a massive story.  However, her story ends at the prison camp.  Oh, there is a token epilogue on what happened after, but if you have read the book, you know that's where the true story is.

Without getting into detail, Louis Zamperini was saved - scratch that, "redeemed" as the title of the book says - by a personal relationship with God.  Ah, but mainstream Hollywood doesn't like all that holy roller stuff, so by all means cut the story short and let's have a movie where a guy gets beat through a large part of it.

I cannot recommend Hillebrand's book enough.  As for the movie, well, you're going to have to do that one on your own.  But if you do see it and feel it leaves you lacking, know that it is because the most important and the best part of the story - the "redemption" part - was missing.

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