Movie Review: “Patriots Day”
Pride and Perseverance vs Terror and Hate
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“Patriots Day” hit theaters in January and definitely lived up to its pre-release hype. The movie details the horrific events of April 15, 2013, the day the Boston Marathon was bombed. Many people that live in the Boston area can claim some type of personal connection to that day, so the opening was eagerly awaited.
“Patriots Day” shows the audience the lives of those who were affected by this act of terrorism, including the victims, the police officers and the bombers. The movie begins during the morning of the marathon, and ends when Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev (Alex Wolff) is arrested. It is an action packed race against time as the Boston Police Department hunts down the Tsarnaevs before they can plant bombs in New York. It closes with David Ortiz’s heartfelt speech to the people of Boston, and the real victims describing their emotions since the day of the bombing. Director Peter Berg beautifully captures the emotions felt throughout the northeast that fateful week.
According to the Patriot Ledger, production designer Tom Duffield took great care in producing accurate sets that were identical to the Boylston Street finish line and Laurel Street in Watertown sites. The sets were created in Weymouth’s very own Union Point. Duffield’s efforts paid off greatly as the untrained eye could not spot a difference between the movie scenes and the streets of Boston.
Berg intertwined real video footage of the Tsarnaevs with fictional shots. This unique style of filmmaking made the movie all the more compelling. Costume designer Virginia Johnson matched the outfits of the cast exactly to that of the people in the real-life footage. Berg’s decision to include real video arouses emotion in the audience that hasn’t been felt since the bombing.
Mark Wahlberg stars as Sergeant Tommy Saunders. While Saunders is a fictional character, he represents all of the brave men and women on the task force. Wahlberg, a Massachusetts native, delivers an emotional performance. The audience can feel his love for the city. Saunders’ strong headed attitude and smart remarks portray a classic Bostonian, and make him a very relatable character.
Wahlberg dedicated himself to the role in order to tastefully portray the event. According to Foxsports.com, he met with current Boston police commissioner Bill Evans and Carlos Arredondo, a citizen who helped saved lives on Boylston Street immediately following the bombing. Wahlberg also met with the family of Martin Richards and made sure that their request not to be in the movie was carried out. Wahlberg’s commitment to his role made his character very convincing.
“Patriots Day” also includes John Goodman as Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, Jake Picking as slain officer Sean Collier, Rachel Brosnahan as Jessica Kensky, J.K. Simmons as Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese and Kevin Bacon as Special Agent Richard DesLauriers.
The movie’s ending is a tearjerker. The victims’ tales of going from hopeless to hopeful is humbling. The inclusion of Big Papi’s words for the people of Boston gives a sense of pride and perseverance making the audience’s heart swell.
While some believed that the movie was filmed too soon after the tragedy, it was done artfully and with respect. The movie perfectly depicts the people of Boston and their never quit personalities. This is a must-see movie.