“Patriot’s Day” dazzles


Emily Gibbens

Last Friday was free movie night for UND students. All of the movies I wanted to see were exempt from the free movie ticket, so I opted to watch “Patriots Day” even though I didn’t really know what it was about. After over two hours, a bucket of popcorn and a lot of tears, I was certain it was the best film I’ve seen in a long time.

“Patriots Day” is directed by Peter Berg. Berg is also well-known for directing the 2004 movie “Friday Night Lights”, and the very recent film “Deepwater Horizon” based on the explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The film is the story of what actually happened on April 15, 2013 at the Boston Marathon bombing. The movie stars Mark Wahlberg who plays a police officer named Tommy Saunders, who was at the finish line of the marathon when the bombing occurred.

Saunders is not an actual person, but is based on the personalities and stories of many police officers who were involved in the incident. Other actors in the movie include Kevin Bacon, John Goodman and J.K. Simmons.

The movie followed the true storyline of the police officers, political figures on Massachusetts, victims, bystanders and even the two bombers’ perspectives. It went from the actual race, to the house of the bombers, brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to the chase to find them.

I think the entire audience was shocked by how intense the search for the bombers was. While trying to get to New York to set off more bombs, they created chaos everywhere they went. They shot and killed a police officer in attempt to steal his gun, they stole a man’s car, held him hostage and they lit off and threw massive explosives every time they were cornered by police officers.

After being shot and ran over, Tamerlan died, but his brother Dzhokhar escaped again. Eventually they found him, and he was brought to custody. Dzhokhar was recently sentenced to death by a jury for his actions.

The end of the movie was a very emotional interview with the actual police officers and survivors and a tribute to the three who died in the bombing and the police officer who was shot by the terrorists.

I walked out of that movie theater feeling sick to my stomach. The incident was only three-and-a-half years ago, yet I felt so disconnected from it. Things like this happen all the time, all over the world, but it’s as if I was in my little North Dakota bubble. And although I felt awful for the people it affected, I didn’t truly get the intensity, fear and hatred.

I remember watching it all on the news, feeling so bad for everyone involved. I recall checking my phone constantly to see if they caught the final bomber. I was elated and relieved for the town of Boston and the entire country when they finally found him, but I was still 1,800 miles away from where it happened.

“Patriots Day” grabbed my attention and threw me into the action. I didn’t feel 1,800 miles away anymore. Because of this movie, I am more educated and feel like I understand what went on that horrible day. Overall, I give “Patriots Day” four stars.

Emily Gibbens is the opinion editor for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]