Last Saturday, I was one of those who went to see the movie, "Unbroken". I have read that it was the third largest Christmas day opening ever and that the ratings have been very high. So...that means that it is very popular. Good.
For anyone who has read my blog for any length of time, you will know of my great admiration for Louis Zamperini and you will know that I have been waiting to see his life portrayed on screen since I read his book "Devil At My Heels" in 2004. I mailed a letter to the publisher of that book and Mr. Zamperini wrote me back. I am not special in this regard. I know that he replied to every single person who ever wrote to him! It was only in the past few years that he was not able to answer all of his letters. He asked his friend and fellow Olympian, John Naber, to help with his correspondence and so I also have a nice reply to one of my letters with a typed reply from John Naber but with a few notations hand written by Mr. Zamperini himself. What a guy!
Okay, okay...now, you know I think the world of Louis Zamperini, but what did I think of the movie?
For me, it is hard to distance myself....I can't just think of it as a movie, I am thinking of it as a story of a man's life, a man that I think deserves to be recognized and honored. So...I really liked it, I liked it a lot. (And the one who carries the torch into the Berlin Stadium and lights the Olympic Flame? That is Mr. Zamperini's grandson, Clayton Zamperini...I really love that.)
To condense a man's life of ninety-seven years into a film that is just over two hours cannot be an easy thing and especially when it is a life like Louis Zamperini's! I have read some reviews that criticize the ending, it stops when he comes back from the war, never mentioning Billy Graham
and only tells of the rest of his life in just a few sentences on the screen. Well, I am hoping...could there be another movie in the works? After all, Mr. Zamperini lived such a long and fruitful life devoted to his Christian faith and good works, I am hoping that even as I am typing this, that Angelina Jolie is pitching an idea for another movie about Louis Zamperini to Universal Studios, one that shows him working with the boys at his Victory Camp, showing him giving inspirational talks to thousands of people and showing the humor and wisdom of Louis Zamperini.
At the same time that I saw this movie, I came straight home and finished his book, "Don't Give Up, Don't Give In". which was sent off to the publishers just two days before he passed away. I will tell you more about this book, but by all means, go and see "Unbroken". I was pleased to finally see it on the big screen. And I am thankful that Mr. Zamperini was able to see it before he died. (Angelina Jolie showed it to him on her computer when she visited him in the hospital.) He liked it.
That's good enough for me.