7:30 PM, 30th March, 2017
Patriots Day, based on the book “Boston Strong”, follows the lead up to and aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing and the subsequent terrorist manhunt led by the Boston police force. Starring an ensemble cast including Mark Wahlberg, J. K. Simmons, John Goodman and Kevin Bacon, the story is drawn primarily from real-life accounts including those of the first responders, the law enforcement investigative team, government officials that worked to track down the bombers, and actual survivors of the bombings.
As it’s based on the book, the film is not necessarily historically accurate – rather Patriots Day is intended to be an homage to the survivors of the bombings, to those who worked tirelessly in the aftermath and to the city of Boston itself.
To be completely honest, Patriots Day, in the same vein as American Sniper, is not subtle in its message; it is dripping with political propaganda, especially being produced in the year that Trump was elected to office, so you should not be surprised by the liberties taken in this film.
However, if you are able to see past a bit of ‘Murican Patriotism’ and the ‘good guys’ versus the ‘bad guys’, the manner in which the timeline occurs is handled with sensitivity. Patriots Day humanises the very real story of tragic loss of life and the significant number of those injured, as well as the incredible effort towards the tension-packed climax to one of the most sophisticated and well-coordinated manhunts in US law enforcement history.