Directed by Jose Padilha
Starring – Rosamund Pike, Daniel Bruhl, Eddie Marsan
The Plot – In July 1976, an Air France flight from Tel-Aviv to Paris via Athens was hijacked and forced to land in Entebbe, Uganda. The Jewish passengers were separated and held hostage in demand to release many terrorists held in Israeli prisons. After much debate, the Israeli government sent an elite commando unit to raid the airfield and release the hostages.
Rated PG-13 for violence, some thematic material, drug use, smoking and brief strong adult language
– Rosamund Pike could act her way out of a closet. Regardless of how limited or flawed the screenplay she is given, Pike steals the attention of every scene as the only woman fighting for her cause, all the while donning a commitment to the German accent she speaks with. The very best scene in the movie involves a call home that she makes on the dreaded day 7 that still haunts me with its twist.
– The second half of the film begins to include some real life footage from African press, as well as narration of American television providing the general reaction of foreigners reacting to this plan. I felt this was necessary because it’s easy for audiences to get far too lost in the overabundance of dialogue exposition in the movie, and this serves as a needed translator of sorts.
– Padilha’s direction seems unabashed in depicting the varying degrees of terrorists, as well as the slimy politicians who would later be known as heroes. This highlights that the director isn’t advocating for either side, instead preaching that negotiations are always the first step in preventing something much worse.
– Much of the 70’s artistic expressions for the time period are followed through beautifully, mirroring the fashions and automobiles in-sync with dedication that doesn’t go unnoticed.
– This tragic event, while deserving of attention, doesn’t make for the most entertaining or intriguing or movie scripts. There’s very little struggle in the fight for power, very little opposition by those kidnapped, and far too much dialogue progression being used to keep audiences at bay.
– There are no fewer than four different perspectives that this story goes through. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the most entertaining is any time the film decides to focus on Bruhl and Pike’s engagements with the hostages, but everything else is given far too much time in explaining the unfolding of the situation that would otherwise be easy to pick up on without it. Because of this, 7 Days in Entebbe feels like truth in advertising.
– I spoke earlier of Pike’s reputation as a great actress, and it’s probably a good thing because even though the film clumsily retorts to backstory with our terrorists only days before the hijack, I felt that I learned very little about Pike or Bruhl’s characters that would fill in the gaps for their motivations and make me feel a shred of empathy for them.
– It certainly gives the hijackers a feeling of stupidity when they say they didn’t think so many Jewish passengers would be on-board an Israeli aircraft. Were you expecting Sonny and Cher? Why this is such a big deal is because the hijackers are mostly German, bringing back thoughts back of Nazi’s torturing Jews. In short, do your studying before committing to something terrible.
– Rodrigo Amarante’s musical score feels very underwhelming when compared to his sensational work on ‘Narcos’. With the exception of the closing number accompanying the rapid fire sequence of events, much of the music in the movie stays very reserved, never increasing or teasing the tension that surrounds the characters rising consequences.
– With an air of pretentiousness, the film visually treats us to four different interpretive dance numbers that are supposed to mirror that of the unfolding events happening in our story. I don’t mind artistic expression in any movie, but when it starts to become a cliche in its own movie, I can’t help but refrain from rolling my eyes each time it pops up.
– When someone decides to remake a story that has already been told on-screen, it should include some perks to the story that we didn’t learn from a prior film to give it a sense of belonging. I myself know very little about these 7 days in Entebbe, but I can tell you that everything that I did learn came from a film made forty years ago called ‘Raid on Entebbe’, starring Charles Bronson. Because of that fact, these seven days feel like a wasted flight with very little access to gas needed to prolong interest.