A Private War

A Private War Movie Review 2018: Gutsy And Quirky Go Together

Movie Name
A Private War
Matthew Heineman
Biography , Drama , War
01 hours 50 minutes

A Private War Review

War Correspondent Marie Colvin died in war-torn Syria while reporting on the siege of Homs in 2012.

A Vanity Fair article on her inspired this film which director Matthew Heineman makes without pulling his punches. Writing for the Sunday Times, Marie chain-smokes, drinks a tad too much, shows her middle finger to colleagues and has messy relationships including one with her ex-husband, a writer.

She can clink a glass of champagne at a soiree where she's awarded Best Foreign Correspondent of the Year by the British Press with as much ease as she can get gritty and scratched on the war front.

But essentially she was one helluva fearless reporter, drawn to the danger zone like an addiction. Even losing an eye while reporting on LTTE in Sri Lanka and ending up with an eye patch "like Moshe Dayan" couldn't confine her to the desk, she had to be back where it was all happening. "Fear comes later when it's all over," said the real Marie.

It wasn't only about being fearless. Marie cared too, cared enough to go out there and tell the stories of intense suffering, a feature that's always common wherever the battle may be. She pretends to be a part of a medical team and brazens her way through fierce Iranian security forces to report on the bodies buried in Fallujah, making sure photographer Paul gets the sea of wailing burkhas as the women stand around and watch their loved ones, who're now pieces of skeleton, being unearthed from the mass graves.

For Marie, making human suffering a part of her war reports was the focus, not so much the politics of it. And risk to her own life to get those stories was incidental.

Her own life makes a good story to report and to film. Especially with Rosamund Pike as Marie getting the addiction to danger and the mix of guts and quirks totally right.

A small aside: rather generous of Charlize Theron to have produced this without casting herself in it and letting Pike do the honours. Take a bow, Theron.


  • Dialogues
  • Story
  • Music
  • Screen Play

The Verdict

For a film that encapsulates the miseries of war and the life of a feisty war correspondent, The Private War gets a 3* rating.


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