I haven’t seen it and probably won’t, because I don’t go to the movies often and this one doesn’t sound very good. And reading this review of the Danny Pearl story “A Mighty Heart” only reinforces that notion.
Daniel Pearl’s friend and colleague Asra Q. Nomani seems incensed that the movie doesn’t portray anything like the Danny she knew, respected, and platonically loved. She cooperated with the film’s development, thinking the movie “had the potential to be meaningful” and would explain Pearl’s passion for reporting as well as tell the story of the team that searched for him so vigorously and yet futilely. Nomani also hoped the movie would spark what she refers to as “a search for the truth behind Danny’s death,” which she feels has not yet been learned (not sure about that last part, but I’m fairly certain it doesn’t involve George Bush; she sounds like a relatively sensible woman).
Sensible yes, but naive about Hollywood. Please, someone, let me know when has Hollywood ever done right by a true story?
The fact that, as Nomani points out, the movie has been turned into a vehicle for star Jolie, and Pearl has become, as she says, “a cameo in his own murder”—and a bland, boring cameo at that, unlike the exceptionally witty and charismatic Pearl—is hardly surprising. Nor is the fact that details of the kidnapping are botched to make it seem more dramatic and simplistic, such as having Pearl receive (and ignore) a series of three warnings not to meet in a public place with the man he was due to interview.
Never happened, says Nomani. But it makes for a more easily “readable” story line, so who cares if it trashes Pearl’s memory by insulting his intelligence and caution?
Not the movie industry. Nor should the somewhat naive Nomani have expected it to. After all, this is the same Hollywood that cast the non-athlete (and left-handed) Tony Perkins as right-handed Red Sox player Jimmy Piersall, that simplified and distorted Gandhi’s life with tremendous inaccuracy to the tune of eight Oscars, that provides a home for Oliver Stone’s “historical” shenanigans. Why would Daniel Pearl’s story be any different?