Starring: Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Tom Hollander, Stanley Tucci
Rosamund Pike toughens and softens at once as Marie Colvin, the famed war journalist honoured and remembered powerfully in A Private War. Pike gives an astonishing performance: brave in gruelling moments, tender and revealing in the everyday pain of loneliness.
The film’s events lead up to Colvin’s death in Homs, while she was covering the siege for the Sunday Times in 2014. Documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman juggles the particulars of Colvin’s character in his debut feature, emphasising the journalist’s fidgety fingers over her signature eyepatch, as well as intimate details such as the importance of her La Perla underwear and the repercussions of her chronic loneliness.
‘I fear growing old, but then I also fear dying young’, Colvin confesses to her working partner and lifelong friend Paul Conroy – her chosen photographer for the crucial part of her career, played by Jamie Dornan. A balance defines A Private War, mapping out the timeline that led to the tragedy Colvin is remembered for while giving her more quotidian insecurities time, too.
It takes a fearless performance to convey Colvin's strength, alongside her vulnerability as a woman who cannot have a child, and as a lover who can’t ever be present. Pike maintains the elegance that defines her work, while squaring up her frame, raising her guard and lowering her voice to an alcohol-soaked, gravelly octave.
Colvin’s obsession with her career reveals an urgent need to report the truth, as opposed to a sense of self-gratification of performing her own words, her own art. The aches in her bones are pushed further down the list of priorities worth tending to, as her life is given, before anything else, to the subjects she gives a voice to. Heineman captures this with an immersive eye, going deeper into the journalist’s commitment and inner yearning to expose the injustices others always fear.
What could have stood as a harrowing but removed fragment of history is brought to life with immediacy, both in the framing and feeling of the magnanimous war that Marie Colvin fought.
|What||A Private War film review|
15 Feb 19 – 15 Feb 20, 12:00 AM
|Price||£Determined by cinemas|
|Website||Click here for more information|