A Private War  Review: A Substandard Biopic Saved By Rosamund Pike’s Strong Act
Narrating the life story of one of the most fearless & celebrated war correspondents of our time, A Private War attempts to capture the emotional & psychological toll the trauma of covering warfare can have on journalists on the front lines but it is as confused in its presentation as it is conventional in its approach. Failing to bring the viewers into the conflict, there is nothing about this biopic that's different from the norm except for Rosamund Pike's strong showcase that makes the ride adequately engaging.
A substandard biopic propelled by Rosamund Pike’s commanding performance, A Private War is a commendable portrait of the bravery, bravado & sacrifices that war journalists make on the front lines in their attempts to provide an honest, uncontaminated & first-hand account of the human cost of wars & conflicts.
Directed by Matthew Heineman in what’s his feature film debut, the film plays very much by the rules and offers a fascinating insight into Colvin’s life & career but there is nothing about it that stands out from the norm. Despite the grim mood, it is lacking in tension and while the imagery is harrowing, it still fails to grip us on an emotional level.
The only one really committed here is Rosamund Pike who delivers an outstanding lead showcase in the role of Marie Colvin but the characterisation part isn’t handled well enough to compel us to truly invest in her journey, not to mention that there are times when her decisions & actions come off as stupid instead of bold. As for the rest of the cast, they are not even worth a mention, and are more or less forgettable.