The 33 seems like one of those films that should have received a lot of awards attention. It’s based on an incredible dramatic true story, and it was released during awards season in America, and yet here we are at the end of January, with a grand total of zero major nominations for the film. That’s a little bit concerning, as ‘awards season’ is pretty much how this film is classified, and if it can’t do that right, can it really be any good?
The 33 is the true story of the 33 Chilean miners (get it?) who were trapped in a gold and copper mine in 2010, and spent 69 days buried alive. As well as looking at the whole event, the film follows a number of personal stories of the miners themselves, their families, and the people trying to rescue them.
This film opens very well. The set up is covered quickly, but you get enough to immediately care about certain characters, and know who is who. The mine collapse is also depicted in a tense and dramatic way that feels realistic whilst still being cinematic. Something else that was great about this film was the central performance from Antonio Banderas, who continues to impress me with every performance he’s given in recent years. The rest of the actors are pretty good too, although some of them are dubbed quite obviously.
The problem comes during the middle of the film. It might be unfair to hold this against The 33, but these events happened so recently that I knew exactly how it ended. This isn’t always a bad thing, but here I found it a little bit difficult to care too much about the escalating drama when I knew the eventual outcome. Perhaps this was a side effect of the film being a tiny bit too long (as most films based on a true story tend to be), but there was a definite point where I felt like the pace dropped.
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