A Mighty Heart

Rated 4.0

Director Michael Winterbottom and writer John Orloff recount the kidnapping of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl (Dan Futterman) in Pakistan in 2002, focusing on Pearl’s wife, Mariane (Angelina Jolie), and the Pakistani police captain leading the investigation (Irfan Khan). Winterbottom and Orloff do not flinch from the tragic outcome of the crime, but neither do they exploit it. Meanwhile, Danny himself is less prominent in the film than he was in Mariane’s book on which it is based; the “mighty heart” of the movie is Mariane’s rather than Danny’s. The film is riveting (though sometimes confusing) as it follows the tangled threads of the investigation, and Jolie submerges her super-celeb persona in a delicate and natural performance that matches Winterbottom’s semi-documentary style.