Patriots Day: Film Review

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Everyone would have heard about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings from press coverage but I doubt any of us really knew what happened on the ground during that time and in the days afterwards and Patriots Day intends to change that. It’s no surprise the tragedy was made into a movie and I must admit I got quite choked up by how it all went down.

Mark Wahlberg stars as Boston Police Department Sergeant Tommy Saunders, who is trying to get back into good graces by doing regular police work at the finish line of the marathon, where two explosions go off in quick succession. The film recreates the shocking scene and the aftermath  – where the FBI, lead by agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon) take charge and go through all the information to find the culprits, alongside with the help of Saunders and Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman).

They soon find their suspects in brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarneav (Themo Melikidze and Alex Wolff) and a manhunt begins.

I knew about the bombings, the shootout with the brothers and the police and the subsequent court case of Dzhokhar but I had many gaps in between. The timeline of events is longer than I thought and I had no idea how they found the brothers as their suspects. I found the whole retelling fascinating but also very poignant because it was real, it happened in my lifetime and I remember it. Even so, I was still gripped and on the edge of my seat waiting for what was going to happen next – I especially don’t remember anything about the brothers’ timeline of events.

This was also an emotional watch. Seeing a dramatised version was powerful enough, not to mention all the post-story interviews with the actual survivors and police officials. That’s what really got me.

The film really captured the chaos of the situation, how hard it was trying to get all organisations to cooperate in such a mad time and I was amazing how quickly a hub of operations was set up to launch the investigation and sift through reams of CCTV footage to find them. The manpower behind the whole thing was unreal.

It is sad but there are also elements of lightness. I found J.K. Simmons’ police officer very funny and some of the stories of the victims in the lead up to the tragedy are quite humorous. I liked that we got to know some of survivors so it wasn’t all about the police heroes and their real interviews at the end are a must watch.

In cinemas Friday 24th February

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