Thai cave rescue film ‘Thirteen Lives’ avoids cheap Hollywood gimmicks

You have to give American director Ron Howard credit for resisting the temptation of a “Hollywood” true story about a Thai cave rescue.

But when a story is as outlandish and famous as the rescue of 12 kids and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in 2018, any cheap movie gimmicks to blow things up would be pretty obvious.

Everyone knows at least the common features of those 18 busy days. More importantly, everyone knows the ending, so you can’t introduce false tension, especially when the real ones were already so crazy.

As a staging thirteen lives follows the excellent Nat Geo documentary, a less successful indie film, and precedes the Netflix miniseries. The Thai Cave Rescue is a great story, so catnip to the storytellers.

Howard’s film is a low-key yet compelling retelling based on a commitment to realism and deep respect for all involved. You can feel the faith in the best people at the most inopportune moment coursing through the film’s veins, and it’s empowering. thirteen lives“Hold on, audience.

Starring Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell and Joel Edgerton, the story is largely built around two British cave divers Richard Stanton (Mortensen) and John Volanten (Farrell) who first discover the missing boys more than a week after they last seen.

And this is Australian diver and anesthesiologist Richard Harris (Egerton), who was recruited into the mission because of his special skills.

thirteen lives delves into ethical quandaries and hesitation over the agonizing decision to sedate the boys so they can be found through a treacherous tunnel system during a five-hour dive.

While we know it was ultimately a successful mission, the personal costs of the participants take a special hit in the hands of experienced actors, as well as Howard’s steady skills and sound sense as a director.

These scenes, although quiet and almost brooding compared to the dive sequences, distinguish thirteen lives of the best documentaries about the events. Nat Geo Document The rescue it’s an exciting work, but there’s something special – not better, just different – about staging.

Of course, the corporate part thirteen lives those are the dive sequences. It’s not documentary plausibility, but there is realism in the underwater scenes.

Thai cinematographer Syombhu Mukdeeprom, who often collaborates with respected director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, captures the intensity of those moments perfectly.

The water is murky, the currents are strong, and sometimes you can’t see what’s going on, effectively recreating the difficult conditions all divers have worked under, highlighting how impossible their mission was.

thirteen lives centers Stanton and Volantin, because it is their vital right that the filmmakers have. But despite this, the film largely avoids any sort of nasty complex narratives about white rescuers, expanding its web by allowing time for the many, many people involved in the rescue.

This includes Thailand’s Navy SEALs, including Saman Koonan (Sukollawat Kanaroth), the man who died during the mission, Narongsak Osatanakorn (Sahajak Buntanakit), the governor coordinating the operation, and Thanet Natisri (Nophand Bunyai), the hydraulic engineer leading the operation. a large group of volunteers on top of the mountain try to stop the water flowing into the caves.

The film captures the scale of the operation and the strength of this collaboration, even if it can’t give enough attention to each experience. There are sections that feel rushed and stories that feel untold, but even in the two and a half hours of the movie, there’s no time for everything.

And the boys’ point of view will be the focus of the upcoming miniseries. Rescue in a Thai cave after the team made a deal with Netflix for their lifetime rights.

thirteen lives it’s not the full story, but it’s an exciting part of a phenomenal moment.

Rating: 3.5/5

‘Thirteen Lives’ Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

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