A Mighty Heart | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

A Mighty Heart 

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Mariane Pearl's 2003 memoir about the terrorist kidnapping and murder of her husband, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, is ideal material for a suspense film, and this docudrama manages to be gripping even though the outcome is no mystery. Closely adapted by John Orloff, the movie functions as a police procedural, with the journalist's pregnant wife (Angelina Jolie) and a team of U.S. and Pakistani officials struggling to navigate the Islamic underground of Karachi as they search for Pearl. But Orloff also captures the book's human drama, as Mariane tries to remain hopeful in a steadily darkening situation, and its international sweep, as the rescuers are frustrated by tensions between Pakistan, India, and the West. Director Michael Winterbottom is known for his war-zone dramas (Welcome to Sarajevo, In This World), and his crisp documentary style enhances the emotionally charged story. Reviewed this week in Section 1. a Century 12 and CineArts 6, Cicero ShowPlace 14, Crown Village 18, River East 21, Webster Place.

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