"Pike's interpretation reels you in with an un-surrendering intensity"
Documentary director Matthew Heineman ("Cartel Land"), like a Photographer captures truth in each frame. Rosamund Pike stars as Marie, Jamie Dornan as photojournalist, Paul Conroy.
A court in the US ruled that war correspondent Marie Colvin was deliberately targeted in an artillery attack, in order to silence her from reporting from the besieged Syrian enclave of Baba Amr in the city of Homas.
Syria's longstanding policy of violence towards the media has been labelled "enemies of the state."
The UK's release of A Private War happens to coincide with this event, looking to honour the life of Colvin, as a woman who was driven by an enduring desire to bear witness and to provide a voice to the voiceless. She was killed on February 22 2012.
Colvin interviewed tyrannical, rebel leaders, and wrote about what she saw in the hope that people would sit up and take notice. She wore an eye patch after a blast by a Sri Lankan Army rocket-propelled grenade caused her to lose sight in her left eye, and yet she would daringly continue to report from war zones in Syria, East Timor, Libya, Kosovo, Chechnya, Iran, Iraq, and Sri Lanka..
Pike's interpretation reels you in with an un-surrendering intensity. In fact, it has to be one of the most invested-in performances I have seen this year. Her characterisation of Colvin is viscerally compelling, as it holds a noticeable vulnerability, leading you to reevaluate your own opinions, as you settle into a more unconventional approach taken by Heineman. An example of which is when we see her interact with a refugee, whom she proceeds to probe for a little more information, with the aide of a Translator.
With the result, you feel as though you are in the same room as her, as a journalistic story is weaved together right before your very eyes; yet you remain every bit as surprised as she, as she takes in atrocious accounts being fed to her. Some trickery undoubtedly has been used, however, the tears we witness on screen are real ones, which spur on the engagement of our raw own.
When the danger was over, we saw the terrible toll it had had on her, where she attempted to snub out the nightmares, with intimacy and alcohol but with each snub out, she would light up again, drawing reference here to her smoking habit, which Pike studied with meticulous care.
The script intricately tight runs alongside the 'true to life ' war zone moments,' which have us believing we are there too. You step away with a true sense of the kind of heroine that Marie was, not by any means flawless, and restrained when it came to her privacy, yet, at the same time incredibly powerful. She wanted the world to know how civilians were being directly affected by the decisions made by the people in a position of power. Her legacy will remain forever intact thanks to the making of this movie.