A War Story and Tragedy

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

On Sunday night I finished the book The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien and last night RJ and I watched A Mighty Heart.

The Things They Carried is a Vietnam war tale. It is labelled as fiction but the author is one of the characters in the book, so it think there are elements of truth. I'm not usually a war story kind of girl, however this one sounded interesting. It won a bunch of awards and was a Pulitzer Prize nominee. And it was actually a pretty good read. Not one of my favorite books (it won't get one of the coveted spaces in my much-to-large-and-crowded bookcase)but worth reading. In particular I recommend The Things They Carried to people who like war stories because the tales of battle and soldiering are spectacular. What takes this book even further than a blow-the-enemy-up war book is the depth of emotion, without being sappy or preachy. The character development and prose are wonderful. You really feel like you're marching throughout he jungles with these guys.



A Mighty Heart is the story of Mariane Pearl's account of her husband's kidnapping and murder in Pakistan. Angelina Jolie portrays Mariane; she does a phenomenal job. While I am not a huge Jolie fan in "real life" you have to admire her work as an actress. I decided to Netflix the film because next week Jolie is being awarded with the Outstanding Performance of the Year Award here at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. She deserves the award. I didn't follow the Daniel Pearl story in 2002 when the Wall Street Journalist was kidnapped in Pakistan, held hostage for more than a week, and ultimately beheaded by his captors. A gruesome and horrific experience that I can't image going through as a wife (not to mention that Mariane was 5 months pregnant at the time). While there were moments in the film when I was confused by the unfolding events, and sometimes the politics were over my head, I would highly recommend it for Jolie's performance alone. A few years ago I was on Team Aniston but I might have to be on Team Jolie for this one.

I think I need a rating system. I don't want to do thumbs or stars b/c they've already been done. What do you think?

3 comments:

Shelley Blackwell said...

Hey Anna,
Thanks for the shout out on our blog. I've been missing you guys. Owen was asking about you yesterday. I too had a fantastic time with you guys and felt very encouraged by our chats. Thanks! Also wanted to let you know that we'll be in SD from feb. 11 - 22 if by chance you can make it down for a visit. My mom has tons of room at her place.
love,
shelley

The Avilas said...

No matter how good the movie is, you just can't be on team Jolie. Anyone who wears a vile of blood around her neck is crazy.

Jo said...

So I'm a little late to read this and comment but I saw it and had to post. I was assigned this book in my History 1866 to present class at CSUS. I looked forward to reading it bc I confess that although my dad faught in the American war in Vietnam that I had not ready any books about the war, other than history books. I have to say that I find this book to be terrible. :( Yes there were some interesting stories, characters, fascinating emotions described, but I feel that is does such a diservice to the soldiers who actually faught and the REAL stories of the war. History cannot claim a war generation that is more robbed of its due honor than the American Vietnam soldiers. And unfortuantely, I feel this book only serves to fail our veterans even more fully. I completely recommend Stolen Valor which is a book that tells the TRUE stories of their battles and virtues. OK, I'll climb down from my soap box and hope to hear from you on if you've heard of that book and if you eventually are able to read it.

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