”Patriots Day” Personifies the Boston Marathon Attacks

In Patriots Day, Mark Wahlberg plays a Boston police officer who assists in the investigation of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Wahlberg, a Boston native, succeeds in showing the both the professional and emotionally tumultuous side of Boston-area police officers at the time of the attacks.

On April 15, 2013, two bombs exploded at the annual marathon held in Boston, Massachusetts. The explosions killed three people: 8 year-old Martin Richards, 29 year-old Krystle Campbell and 23 year-old Chinese national Liu Lingzi. Of the 264 civilians who were injured, thirteen required some kind of amputation.

Three days later, the perpetrators of the attacks, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, shot and killed MIT police officer Sean Collier. In the early hours April 19, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a firefight in the Boston suburb of Watertown. Later that day, Dzhokhar was apprehended by police after he hid in a boat.

Peter Berg’s Patriots Day manages to cover the events surrounding the Boston bombings in an interesting and diverse light.

The movie does a good job of showing the personal sides of the police, civilians and bombers. Instead of portraying Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev as nothing but rabid animals, the movie’s writers show them as basically normal people who did one major thing. For example, when the brothers hijack a car, the younger brother, Dzhokhar, starts asking the car’s owner about whether or not it has Bluetooth, what kind of engine it has, and he talks about how excited he is to be able to drive a Mercedes.

Mark Wahlberg portrays his character as human, as opposed to the Hollywood archetype of the no nonsense, no emotions police officer. This is especially evident when he breaks down and starts weeping after experiencing the bombing. This a welcome change, as it shows that despite how the media often portrays them, police officers are human beings with emotions and weaknesses, just like anyone else.
Patriots Day is a great film and is showing at a number of theaters in the Raleigh area. I would highly recommend seeing it as soon as you can.


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