I almost let these emotions flow obviously from my eyes. Then I realised that of course I wasn’t alone in the cinema. So I swallowed my tears but couldn’t stop my heart from bleeding.
It cringed, it cried but eventually, it was overjoyed
Patriots Day is so powerful that it will evoke almost every emotion in you: hatred, compassion, patriotism, and above all, love.
The 2016 American drama-thriller film is about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the subsequent manhunt for the terrorists responsible.
Starring Mark Wahlberg as Sergeant Tommy Saunders from the Boston Police in the lead role, Patriots Day portrays the tragedy of April 15, 2013, which shook not just the US, but the world.
Saunders is in charge of controlling security during the marathon when two bombs planted by brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev detonate, causing widespread panic and chaos.
Saunders and a large contingent of Boston Police team up with the FBI to hunt down the perpetrators and bring them to justice, before they move on to their next target – New York.
Director Peter Berg whose last two successful films Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon also featured Wahlberg, does a superb job in creating the mayhem look lifelike on screen.
Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon were both based on real life events and Berg seems to have a knack in recreating those events with total sincerity.
The way he aligns the story leading to the event and its aftermath are another piece of genius work.
Patriots Day features a range of characters: a police officer in the middle of the chaos and his wife who was at the scene of the bombing, a young couple who lost a leg each, a father who separated from his toddler, an Asian national who was kidnapped by the bombers and a young police officer shot dead by the Tsarnaev brothers.
Berg does well in introducing these characters, with quick frames depicting their daily lives before he involves them in the core play.
The bombing scene is short but painful, and it’s structured in a way to rouse the feelings of the audience. And it works. It really does feel that you are living through that dreadful day.
Berg gives Patriots Day the finishing touch it needs, with the real-life victims’ experiences of the event and its aftermath. It makes the movie complete.
Wahlberg has established himself as one of the most versatile actors in the industry.
In all of his movies, he seems to flawlessly get into the skin of the character he is required to play.
In Patriots Day, he is brilliant. He is emotionally charged, hurt from the incident and desperate to get the people behind the bombing to justice. You can clearly see and feel his frustration.
Wahlberg is actually from Boston and perhaps that inspired him to play the role with such intensity.
With the likes of veteran actors John Goodman and JK Simmons, who play police chiefs, the movie doesn’t lack finesse when it comes to acting.
Patriots Day is a story of one of the world’s greatest manhunts. One that brought Boston back to its feet just hours after it had succumbed to deadly attacks which claimed three lives and injured hundreds of people.
It’s a heartfelt tribute to the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
And ultimately, Patriots Day is a reminder that in times of crisis, love is above all.