Michael Winterbottom's expertly fashioned documentary-style drama A Mighty Heart relates the intense manhunt launched in Pakistan when jihadists kidnapped Wall Street Journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002. Angelina Jolie delivers a well-measured and moving performance as the reporter's wife, Mariane.
Jolie's voice-over sets the scene as the movie begins in Karachi, a vast, sprawling city where her husband went missing. He was on assignment to meet a man who could tell him more about Richard Reid, the captured shoe bomber. The events of September 11 were not long past, and the situation was made difficult by the Wall Street Journal going public with the fact that it had turned over a suspicious computer to the CIA.
The film traces Pearl's movements on the night he was kidnapped, with him being warned several times to meet his contact only in public. When he fails to return to the place where he and his wife, who is pregnant with their first child, are staying, she calls in the authorities. The news breaks internationally, and various parties claim that Pearl is with the CIA or Mossad, which complicates things.
Marcel Zyskind's cinematography captures the frantic bustle of the over-populated city as agents swarm to arrest suspects.
A Mighty Heart. Out now on DVD, Dh85.