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‘Deepwater Horizon’ spills action, drama

Deepwater+Horizon+exploded+off+the+coast+of+Louisiana+April+20%2C+2010.+The+film+of+the+same+name+was+released+Sept.+30%2C+2016.
Deepwater Horizon exploded off the coast of Louisiana April 20, 2010. The film of the same name was released Sept. 30, 2016.

Deepwater Horizon exploded off the coast of Louisiana April 20, 2010. The film of the same name was released Sept. 30, 2016.

Callie Boren

Callie Boren

Deepwater Horizon exploded off the coast of Louisiana April 20, 2010. The film of the same name was released Sept. 30, 2016.

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The audience sat in total silence as one picture after another faded in and out on the screen next to the ever-growing list of names. Emotions built up over the course of the movie finally erupted, but paled in comparison to the cinematic explosion I had just witnessed–especially when I remembered it was real.

The movie “Deepwater Horizon,” released Sept. 30, tells the story of the offshore oil rig of the same name, which exploded in April 2010, killing 11 people and injuring 17 others. The film specifically follows the rig’s Chief Electronics Technician Mike Williams, played by Mark Wahlberg, as he attempts salvage the exploding rig while rescuing as many crew members as possible from the wreckage.

Wahlberg played the hero incredibly well, from the intensity and determination throughout the crisis all the way down to minute details such as a subtle southern accent. Wahlberg was joined by a high-caliber cast including Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez, John Malkovich, Dylan O’Brien and Kate Hudson, who all played their roles expertly. The film felt like a documentary in its reality, but contained the exciting tone of an action movie and the emotional pull of a drama.

The tragedy occurred recently enough even young audience members may remember the news coverage, but the film introduces a shocking personal perspective.”

— Callie Boren, 12

Along with the reality conveyed by the characters, the visual effects simply blew me away. I could not pull my eyes away from the screen, and the credibility never faltered. The exploding pipes and flying fragments of glass only added to the potency of the story, never drawing attention anywhere the visual effects artists did not want it to go. The makeup artists also contributed to the big picture with small masterpieces, adequately expressing the damage done by the explosion without nauseating the viewer enough to turn them away from the plot.

Regardless of the reality of the destruction of Deepwater Horizon, the plot of the film captivated its audience impeccably. However, the truth behind the picture increased its power exponentially. The tragedy occurred recently enough even young audience members may remember the news coverage, but the film introduces a shocking personal perspective. Contrary to media coverage which mostly called upon environmentalists to protest BP, “Deepwater Horizon” tore the attention away from the multi-billion dollar company and brought instead to the brave men and women who actually had to face the fire that day, and specifically those who lost their lives.

In all honesty, the film may not be for everyone. It contains a great deal of trauma and suspense, and a fair share of violence. People sensitive to bright flashes of light and sudden loud noises should go with caution, and the film does introduce, in an implicit way, the horrors of post traumatic stress disorder and survivor’s guilt. However, the intensity of the experience only scratches the surface of the emotional and psychological nightmare endured by the crew members who survived that day, and pays just a fraction of the tribute earned by those who lost their lives. In their honor, head to the nearest movie theater for a pressure-tested understanding of the events on Deepwater Horizon and their lasting impact.

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‘Deepwater Horizon’ spills action, drama