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Pearl Harbor (English) Review

Pearl Harbor (English)
Chinmayi Sirsi / fullhyd.com
EDITOR RATING
7.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suggestions
Can watch again
NA
Good for kids
NA
Good for dates
NA
Wait to rent it
NA
If you insist on calling your movie "Pearl Harbor", then you'd better be able to justify the title by getting your priorities right. "Love, Longing And Tragedy At Pearl Harbor", or something to that effect, describes the movie better. You see, with a title like that, at least the audience would know what to expect.

What you expect is an attack on the harbor, after maybe a few preliminary intros with the characters involved. What you get is a hackneyed love-story that goes on forever, and it is only when the director sees that all further paths lead to dead-ends does he bring in the attack so his cootchie-coo love-story can get a move on.

Sad but true. It worked for Titanic since Cameron knew he needed to focus as much on the sinking ship as he did on Jack and Rose's magical encounters. It doesn't work for Pearl Harbor since Bay did not know, or chose to ignore that knowledge. The result is not a disaster-movie, but a movie just about averted from disaster by some superb special effects, amazing photography, brilliant action scenes and apt performances.

It is 1940, and Rafe McCawly (Ben Affleck) and Danny Walker (Josh Hartnett) are best buddies and American bomber pilots. Rafe volunteers to go on a high-risk mission against the Japs, leaving behind a teary-eyed girlfriend Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale). News of Rafe's death shatters both Danny and Evelyn, and their grief brings them together. Just when things start looking up, Rafe returns. You see, he wasn't dead at all - memories of Evelyn gave him the strength to battle for life. If I weren't so bored, I would have laughed.

This takes ages to tell, but finally we do manage to arrive at the point. The surprise attack at Pearl Harbor by the Japs is done with beautiful clarity of vision and amazing special effects. This 35-minutes of the movie is so engrossing an experience that it plucks you right out of your seat and puts you into that time and place when more than 3,000 people were surprised into dying. And it is in these 35-odd minutes that Pearl Harbor is a watchable movie.

The presence of Alec Baldwin and Jon Voigt in the roles of Colonel Dolittle and President Roosevelt add flavor and class to the second half. Affleck, Hartnett and Beckinsale do what they are supposed to, but fail to make you care enough about their personal fates. Cuba Gooding Jr makes a brief appearance in the role of a navy-cook looking to be accepted in the all-white American Navy. Everyone gives good, sturdy performances, but the slack script and those uninspired dialogues fail to do justice to the performers. Surely we could have done without the clichés and dialogues like "there's nothing stronger than the heart of the volunteer".

The theme of tragedy - personal losses or surprise attacks - is one with the potential to arouse tremendous interest in audiences all over. By refusing to go under the skin of all the tragedies that occur in the movie and satisfying himself with superficial melodrama and special effects (first-rate, yes, but still only special effects), Michael Bay makes an expensive error of judgement. Watch this 3-hour movie for the few minutes of brilliance, but you'd do well to leave any expectations of historic insights or real entertainment behind.
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PEARL HARBOR (ENGLISH) SNAPSHOT
Pearl Harbor (English) (english) reviews
USER RATING
6.2
35 USERS
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Rating is quick and easy - try it!
  • Cast
    Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding Jr, Alec Baldwin, Jon Voight
  • Director
    Michael Bay
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
PEARL HARBOR (ENGLISH) USER REVIEWS
1 - 6 OF 6 COMMENTS
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USER RATING
6.2
35 USERS
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Can watch again - NA
Good for kids - NA
Good for dates - NA
Wait to rent it - NA
The Mavericks on 17th Aug 2001, 3:09pm | Permalink
the national geographic channel had a fantastic series on this event... better than the film!
RATING
6
The Mavericks on 17th Aug 2001, 3:08pm | Permalink
Nice one but i wonder why this movie has been treated like a fictional movie with spl effect so typical of a fictional film..all those camera angles...make it look like a story cooked up... lacks the convincing ability of saving private ryan... the movie is a big bore for the first half.. the real action is in ONLY second half..!!
pay half the ticket charge and get in the after the interval... u would still get the story!!
RATING
6
RockNRollRebel on 17th Aug 2001, 12:45pm | Permalink
A documentary on the world war would have been more gripping...
RATING
4
Amit Kumar on 16th Aug 2001, 1:52pm | Permalink
Terrific special effects, beautiful photography, gripping and hair-raising attack and piloting scenes. Could have been much tauter and more cerebral, had the film not bloated itself on the love story in its attempts to combine The Titanic with Saving Private Ryan. The graft diminished it.
RATING
6
Lavanya Kommuri on 16th Aug 2001, 12:58pm | Permalink
very very very nice
RATING
10
Bhanu Kiran on 16th Aug 2001, 11:50am | Permalink
Very nice
RATING
8
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