VIDEO GUY reviews "Patriots Day." This was a tough one for me. We lived in Boston when this happened, and to say it was surreal is to gloss over how intense and otherworldly that week was. I was at work at Blue Cross when the first reports started airing. From there we ended up sheltering in place throughout the entire city later in the week. It was hard reliving the bombing and its aftermath. I stopped counting how many times I wept while watching this film.
It's very raw in places; extremely hard to watch. But, to me, it seemed like a decent representation of the events surrounding the bombing. We'll never know how accurate some of the dialog was, but I'm okay with that. It was compellingly written.
Of particular interest was the extraordinary efficiency of law enforcement. They rallied so fast and so well! If this was fiction, one might think the writer was overreaching in terms of how quickly the authorities got a line on these 2 guys. But it's real life. I remember scenes of streets lined with grateful, cheering Bostonians as police cars wound their way through the city with brother #2 having been found and arrested. The actors playing the Tsarnaev brothers looked so eerily like them that the filmmakers were able to weave in actual security footage (a key reason law enforcement was able to identify them) without any disconnect.
Mark Wahlberg was a great choice for a key role - he's what I would call ruthlessly Bostonian (that's an okay thing), and his acting chops have only gotten better over time. He is also a producer of the film, which was no big surprise to me. There are some inspiring warm fuzzies to help counter-balance the horror, and a couple chuckles (a guy trying to help his wife learn how to speak like a Bostonian is a stand-out).
But beware...this movie is not easy on the heart, though your heart may swell a bit after realizing how accurate and profound "Boston Strong" really is. I'm proud to have called Boston home for 27 years. I encourage fellow Bostonians to chime in with some stories or perspective. For instance, we knew a nurse who worked at the finish line...can't begin to imagine what that day was like for her, but we'll always be grateful she was there.