I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, the movie is a story of survival. And a story of how prisoners of war are treated. But the way it was directed, the intimate nature of each and every scene, left me in awe and admiration.
What Ms Jolie did was to de-mythologize all the big events that we have known through other movies, The Olympics, The War, The Japanese Camps, even immigrant life. She showed a remarkably graceful and realistic view of family life with just a few scenes, a mother making gnocchi-a scene the later soldier dreams about, father disciplining and directing the family with just a slap on the head when the young man becomes distracted in church, the climate of the times with schools and athletics helping children find a passion and a way to succeed . That graceful and realistic touch takes your breath away in the war scene when the bombardier plane falls apart and crashes in the ocean.
The cinematography of how a plane full of bombardiers operates under attack is one of the best war scenes I've ever seen.
The movie covered epic themes, immigrant life, war, survival, degradation. Yet, throughout, the audience experienced these things intimately, in the kitchen and the back of the bleachers, in the plane and the inflatable boat in a sea of sharks, on a dirty bed in the Japanese war camp, and on the pain and humiliation each word and each slash was delivered.
"Unbroken" is a remarkable movie.