Star Cast: Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin, Mario Casas, Lou Diamond Phillips, Juan Pablo Raba and Gabriel Byrne.
Director: Patricia Riggen
Producer: Ribert Katz, Edward McGum and Mike Medavoy
Writer: Jose Rivera, Mikko Alane and Craig Borten
Claps For: Light-hearted survival drama, Background Music and Performances
Slaps For: Lacks the “Inspirational” touch
What’s New: Nothing
Popcorn Refill: Interval
Story: A group of 33 miners get trapped inside the San Jose Mine in Chile. What follows next is their struggle to survive in the refuge area for more than two months, the wait and pain of their families, and the struggle of the rescuers team to get the miners out without letting the mountains collapse.
Performances: While the entire star cast has done a wonderful job and no one disappoints in the roles given to them, it is Antonio Banderas’ team-leader act and Rodrigo Santoro’s good-hearted attempts to get the miners out safely- which makes the film worth the watch.
Banderas displays a variety of emotions as the team-leader who is brave enough to dictate his terms for the betterment of all the 33 men, his fight to come across as the tough man in the pack despite going through the pain himself, and his joy every time the drills enter the mines.
Rodrigo Santoro plays his part with perfection and lets his expressions, his tears and his body language do the talking to let the people know that he is a man who will not give up on the miners.
Juliette Binocho holds her own place in the movie and delivers a good performance as the tough yet soft-hearted sister of one of the miners, Daario.
All the miners have done a good job- be it Mario Casas or Lou Diamond Phillips.
Gabriel Byrne plays his part well.
Direction: Here is a survival drama which neither goes the intense and raw way nor does it end up being a dragged affair. And the credit for keeping the viewers entertained throughout the predictable movie (since it is based on real events) goes to the writers and the director Patricia Riggen. She keeps it very simple.
Riggen just doesn’t show the struggle of the 33 men for survival, but for a change also focuses on the issues the families face when the men are trapped; and the hard work which the rescue teams put in. The focus never remains inside the mine, but it surely does remain on ‘The 33’. With light-hearted humor and within the-mine bonding between the men, she makes the film a refreshing one.
The background music played during the rescue operations is jovial and keeps the mood of the movie intact, without letting it come across as a very serious one.
Having said that, the one department where the movie lacks is- coming across as an inspirational flick about survival and hope. Also, the movie only focuses on the lives of 5-6 men amongst the 33.
Verdict: We give the movie CLAPS for being a light-hearted survival drama, though a one-time-watch.