A Private War Review


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Good Afternoon Lovelies,

I will be honest and admit that I don’t know much about the work of war correspondent Marie Catherine Colvin. Having spent her whole life covering some of the biggest wars and devastations the world has ever seen, in 2012, she tragically lost her life whilst investigating a story with her team. Yet, her legacy lives on in Matthew Heineman’s film A Private War, starring Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Tom Hollander and Stanley Tucci.

Instead of going back to the start of Colvin’s career, the plot focuses in on the final 11 years of her life, as a Sunday Times foreign correspondent. Struggling with the turmoil of reporting in some of the most war-torn parts of the world, it captures the struggles with PTSD, the loss of an eye and the world Colvin builds for herself, as she continues to cover the places many fear to tread. Alongside her is photographer, Paul Conroy (Dornan) and her editor Sean Ryan (Hollander), who both seek for her to discover a new side to herself away from war.

For those who knew of the work of the reporter, the story will be a hardship to watch, as the breakdowns and the motivation consume Colvin to the most dangerous of depths. However, if like me, the script and story have been created in a way to bring to life someone who deserves to have their work celebrated. Colvin is an inspiration, even if she didn’t see it in herself, and A Private War allows for her work to be discovered by a new generation.

Pike is on top form in the role and it is probably her most stand out performance to date, when looking at her away from Gone Girl fame. It is completely different from anything we have seen her in and shows a true depth to how far she will go to get a character right. Her presence on screen is commanding and anyone who shares it with her is easily forgotten.

The film isn’t action-packed and even though it is a war thriller that isn’t the point of it. The point of the story flows from Colvin and what she wants you to know. It is the stories she told and not a high chase war thriller. Something cleverly constructed by Heineman. Although ultimately comes from the great performance by Pike, who makes every inch of the film the success that it is.

4 Stars

A Private War is out now on EST, VOD, Blu-ray and DVD

Joey X

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