Film review: The 33 (3 out of 5)

Just six years ago, 33 miners were trapped for more than two months when the mountain they were working in collapsed.

The 33
The 33

It became an enormous media event - the eyes of the world centred on this remote part of Chile as we all had our fingers firmly crossed that this would end as a good news story rather than a tragedy.

So making a film about the incident meant that virtually everyone would already know the ending.

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But The 33 is less about the wonders of modern technology and how the rescue operation was carried out.

It’s a tale of people’s ability to cope under enormous stress and fear.

There are three elements to the movie - the trapped miners, their families and the government.

The most dramatic storyline is, of course, the miners themselves but there must have been very long periods of utter boredom, sitting round in the semi-darkness and intense heat - not great viewing for an audience.

The family stories are heart-rending, particularly at the start when the mine officials panicked, closed the gates and refused to give out any information.

And the government side is an interesting glimpse into a regime which becomes the focus of the world’s attention.

Antonio Banderas leads a good cast that includes Juliette Binoche, James Brolin and the excellent Gabriel Byrne.

The scene in which part of the inside of the mountain (apparently it was double the size of the Empire State Building) collpases is very dramatic and exciting.

However, that level of tension isn’t really matched, even at the end.

But overall it’s a decent enough movie about a time when the world came together for a truly international rescue.

Film details: The 33 (12A) 127mins

Director: Patricia Riggen

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol

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