Movie Review: The 33 (2015)

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro and Juliette Binoche

Directed by: Patricia Riggen

Based on the remarkable true story where 33 gold miners in Chile are trapped 700 meters underground for 69 days before they were finally rescued.

This is a movie that I’ve been wanting to watch for some time as I’m a sucker for movies that are based on true events, especially when those true events have happened within my lifetime and I’m able to remember a lot of the details from reading/watching the news as everything unfolded. It was a remarkable turn of events that had all the worlds eyes glued to Chile which isn’t a country that makes big news headlines very often but everybody was drawn into the incredible story of the 33.

My initial thoughts as the movie started weren’t very good as we join a bunch of the soon to be trapped miners at a BBQ and a combination of poor acting and extremely uncreative script writing failed to capture my attention. After the first 5-10 minutes of the film I had thought I had made a mistake in choosing to watch The 33 but thankfully it did improve once the miners started work. Another gripe that I had with the entire movie was the fact that it was in English. I felt that a little authenticity had been taken away from the story by not writing the script in Spanish and deciding to go with the more marketable English language instead. I personally think it was a poor decision to do so and while it didn’t hurt the story in anyway it just left me a little disappointed as the movie lacked that genuine touch.

However, with those negative points aside The 33 did develop into a really enjoyable movie as the story was told extremely well and was both heart warming as well as intense. Despite knowing the outcome where all the miners are rescued the film does a very good job at making you think all or some of the miners may not survive their ordeal as you get lost within the story and almost forget about the reality of what happened. Antonio Banderas, who I’m usually not to keen on, was absolutely incredible in this movie as he plays Mario Sepulveda who was one of the Chilean miners and was thrust into the position as “leader” while they were trapped. This is arguably one of Antonio’s better performances as he displays an immense amount of charisma and emotion which I feel rubs off on the rest of the cast as the ones that are given speaking roles really shine through as well. Apart from the opening 10 minutes before the miners get to work and ultimately trapped there was no moment where I felt bored or disinterested as the story was full of suspense and intrigue which is a credit to the whole team involved in making this flick.

Overall, The 33 is a wonderful movie that displays emotion and the courage of both men and women while faced with a desperate situation where all hope is seemingly lost. I would’ve liked for this film to have been in Spanish rather than English to give it that little bit of extra authenticity but other than that I really enjoyed myself watching this film and the over 2 hour runtime just whizzed by.


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