A Private War
Imagine being on the battlefields of Sri Lanka, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. Imagine being wounded and losing an eye or watching friends be killed. Now, imagine doing all that even though you aren’t a soldier but rather a reporter.
A Private War is the story of Marie Colvin who did all those things and more, including broadcasting live from Homs, Syria where she exposed the lies of the Assad regime. Her reporting from Homs is what caused the Assad regime to kill her there.
The acting in this movie is superb. Rosamund Pike has this part nailed. Her mannerisms give you a good clue what Colvin must’ve been like in real life. And her co-star, Jamie Dornan proves her equal in a much quieter role, that of her photographer Paul Conroy, who survived the Homs attack. Tom Hollander does a good job as her editor though I wish the script had filled his character out a bit more.
In fact, if there is a shortcoming with this movie, it is the script. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t bad. Rather it has some jerky transitions that get in the way of the storytelling. I will add that I thought the first five minutes of the movie were the most disappointing part of it.
There could’ve been better transitions into the war zones. Viewers are left to figure out what is going on there or why Colvin went, all on their own. Also, Colvin’s PTSD could’ve used a little more clarity. We know why she got it but her recognizing it creeping into her life is a bit of mystery. She went to rehab but apparently it didn’t take though the movie never explores when or why she moved beyond treatment.
I’ve been waiting to see this movie ever since it was released. Having said that, it wasn’t released in too many towns so I ended up streaming it on Redbox. Despite the shortcomings with the script, this is a worthy movie. It scores 4 of 5 on my rating scale.