<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Matthew Heineman. Starring Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Tom Hollander, Nikki Auka-Bird, Faye Marsay, Corey Johnson, Stanley Tucci

Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes


Journalists are being attacked on the battlefield and in their studios and newsrooms nowadays. It’s a dangerous life, but the stories of the people need to be told.

Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike) was a tough-as-nails journalist who lost an eye covering the conflict in Sri Lanka, as she wanted to tell the story of the innocent lives that were being ruined by it. The award she got for that story was just the first in a long line of accolades for her bravery – and sometimes obsession – covering human stories in areas of extreme conflict like Iraq, Libya and Syria.


From then on begins her journey battling with the demons within her as she balances her classy social life with the gritty, and often deadly dangerous, job that she keeps going back to. She has emotionally detached one-night-stands since all her focus is always on the subjects of her stories: the men, women and children caught in the conflict; the governments don’t care about them, so it’s her duty to make people see and care.

The film is edited in a choppy manner with sometimes surreal scenes of Colvin running from gunfire in a foreign land and then entering her bombed home, seeing a young girl lying dead on her bead and then suddenly you see her with a bottle of vodka crying on the floor.


As the wars rage on around her, the conflict between reporting the news and actually feeling emotional for the horrors that humans inflict on each other burns inside her. This is also a war that journalists must fight to bring the truth to a world where fake news has found a place. Editors must weigh the importance of news against the politics of their publications.

While the film builds up to a moving crescendo of violence and pathos, you can’t help but think that something is missing. There’s lots of talk of her stories but you don’t really see that or the impact they make on the world. Some of the dialogue that is meant to give us an insight into her character is simplistic and not evocative as she talks to her trusty photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan) about wanting a quart of vodka inside her to cope (we can see that). You don’t really get a sense of her as a person or her background. You just get a sense of what it’s like for a reporter to be in the thick of a war and the suffering they are exposed to. She was certainly a woman of great strength who had the time to be afraid only after she had told her story.


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