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Trivia / Goofs
Times of India
33 men are entrapped 2300ft underground after a mine collapses in Altacama Desert, Chile. They seek shelter in an area called 'The Refuge' that stores emergency food supply. The leader of the pack Mario (Antonio Banderas) takes charge of the situation and keeps his people united. From stretching three days' food to weeks and keeping conflicts in check, he maintains the status quo in desperate times. With the mining company failing to take onus for the mishap, the Chilean government intervenes to rescue these men.
The 33 finds its inspiration in a local story at a Chilean mine mishap which went on to become a global phenomenon. The ordeal of these men trapped in a crumbling mine makes for a riveting tale that conjures up a host of emotions ranging from fear, anguish, pain to faith and hope. Director Patricia Riggen benefits heavily from the moving material at hand.
However, it is ironical that a film about mining fails to dig deep enough. Only a handful of the 33 are well fleshed out characters. The 'ordeal' is a broad term that the storyteller never dissects in detail. The director oversimplifies the story.
What bails the film out of these tricky mistakes are its solid performances. Banderas as Mario is first-rate. There is a fantastic scene in which he inspires his men by roaring emphatically - 'We will get out of here. All 33 of us!' The only other actor who stands out is Juliette Binoche with an earnest portrayal of a woman fighting authorities to speed up rescue operations.
The director pushes all buttons to evoke the audience's emotions but the story condenses only in its climax. After the officials manage to make contact with the men trapped, the focus meanders.
The words 'God was with us' written across the walls where these 33 men were trapped gives some perspective and the triumph of indomitable human spirit eases out a lot of negatives. This is a plain biopic that has its heart in the right place but doesn't deliver anything extraordinary.
The film shows one of the miners as the last person to leave the mine and was left behind alone until the capsule was sent down again. However, in reality, he wasn’t the last person, the last to leave the mine was one of the rescuers who went down in the capsule first as a test and stayed there until all miners were out.
Jennifer Lopez, who was part of the actual cast, was later replaced by Juliette Binoche, due to a schedule clash with American Idol.
The movie shows Alex Vega as the first miner to be out and reunite with his family. In reality, however, he was the 10th person to be rescued.
The film was announced to receive an incentive from the Colombian Film Commission which included 40 per cent of the film services and 20 per cent of film logistics’ amount spent in the country. This is the first ever film to receive the incentive.