“The 33” is a film stripped from the harrowing true story of the 33 Chilean miners that were trapped underground for 69 days as the entire world watched from television and social media.
These men were gold and copper miners that worked over 2,000 feet underground in 90 degree temperatures in the Copiapo mine, found deep inside the Atacama Desert in Chile. The mine suffered a major collapse on Aug. 5, 2010, trapping 33 miners.
Miraculously, they all survived the collapse and made it to a safety refuge, which was sparsely stocked with enough food to last them for three days.
This film takes the audience on a journey that shows the true test of the human spirit and the will to survive.
While Mexican film director Patricia Riggen began her career writing documentaries, the screenplay for “The 33” certainly has been beefed up with unnecessary drama that does nothing for character development the plot.
It’s tough to create a really captivating disaster-style movie when the audience already knows how it’ll end going into it, but they definitely try to keep the audience’s interest by inserting a little family drama at “Camp Hope,” the makeshift village that was set up for the families of these 33 men.
Despite the mind-blowing events portrayed, the film is surprisingly very accurate.
Many of the actors are not well known, but Antonio Banderas, the protagonist, offers a stellar performance and is the shining light of this film.
Lou Diamond Phillips plays another coal miner, and he was the other big-name actor which made this film more interesting to watch.
The fact that these men all made it out unharmed is nothing short of a miracle, and this film does a good job of keeping the audience’s attention to the end.
The concept that stuck the most was the idea that miracles can happen if people come together to fight for their loved ones and not accept no for an answer.
The odds of saving these men were so minimal, the man in charge of the mine staff was planning on letting the men rot down there, but due to the perseverance of the family members demanding action, the Chilean government became involved and a global rescue effort ensued.
There were certainly some lulls, as this movie was over two hours long and seemed to drag on.
The fact that the audience knows that these men are going to get out safely can interfere with the viewer’s ability to get too worried about any one of the character’s fate.
Overall, it’s worth seeing; “The 33” is a solid, interesting docudrama style film with a couple of well known, talented actors. It had all of the ingredients for a great film, but something went a little awry with the execution.
It could have been improved with deeper character development, however the Chilean mine disaster is a historic event worth knowing about, so if you don’t know the details of the accident at the Copiapo mine, then the film is worth watching simply to learn more about this event.
Aside from Banderas, if the characters were a bit more likeable, the film would have drawn the audience in a little more.
The family members of the miners were constantly bickering and complaining and the miners were fighting throughout the movie.
At the end of the movie before the credits came, the 33 men were introduced and the viewer could see the true faces of the miners that survived such grim circumstances. The global effort that it took to save these men is truly inspiring, and this film will take you on an emotional journey, leaving you with a feel-good vibe.