The 33 is a very inspiring true story that really makes you feel for the tragedy that occurred to the miners, however, the film focused more on the above ground story than developing their characters and thus wasting some really great potential gut wrenching storytelling for a safe positive spirited film that would be great for cable.
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When dealing with an adaptation of true events there is a fine line to walk, especially when the true events were pretty recent. The 33 is about a mining disaster that had the miraculous outcome of everyone surviving while the world watched these men try to save their miners after nearly three months stuck underground. News reporters all around the world are interested in this story, and for good reason. This is a stunning story that belongs in the frame of “stranger than fiction.” These men lived for months underground eating barely anything, surviving with everyone and no one died, and they were all rescued. That is a miracle, and deserves to be a film.
I will say that even though there were moments where the CGI used was super obvious, everything that happens below ground was stunning, and claustrophobic, and really engaging to watch. You felt like you were down there with them, feeling the hope slowly drain as their situation became more and more serious. What I really didn’t like about the film was the story that was happening above ground. It just felt like the movie had two different stories, and they had multiple tones throughout. Down below there was no hope, no cheery music to let us know it’ll be alright. There are men fighting for food, thinking about suicide, and just emitting all these negative thoughts and actions that real people would go through, while the story above ground felt very much like “Never give up, love will prevail,” soap opera motivation with happy music that just completely negated the possible tension you had underground.
As for the characters they were all mostly okay. Antonio Banderas was really good and played the reluctant leader well. It wasn’t until the end of the movie that I realized we only got to know a few of the miners trapped among the thirty-three. The characters up above didn’t particularly grab me as interesting, and there was one character who was being very vocal, which I don’t mind, but she was being more of a ***** than she should have. She was totally unlikable to me, and it really reinforced my thoughts that the whole movie should have been the miners underground, and really gotten into what they experienced. This movie is around two hours long, and they could have easily cut out thirty minutes to make a solid movie that didn’t feel like it was having a tonal crisis.
As much as I am frustrated with the tone, and a few characters, this movie as a whole was alright. I’m not sure if I’d recommend this as a theater experience since so many great movies are coming out now, but I do think that this film should be watched. I really enjoyed it, and I was invested with the miners trapped under the ground, but I feel that they spent too much time above ground with characters trying convince people to rescue the miners, than to develop the miners. There are a few character relationships that I would have loved to explore more, but I just think the film went in the safe direction by playing up the sympathy card.
Images from : Warner’s Official YouTube channel