Movie Review: The 33

By Shea Fraiser 10-31-2015

Ever had the fear of being trapped underground? Trapped in an environment with a severe lack of oxygen, dwindling food sources, and almost undrinkable water if any at all? Light all but escapes your eyes and all you have to rely on to keep you motivated and alive are the guys to your left and right. Well for The 33, this is a reality and a very terrifying situation to be in. On August 5th, 2010 thirty-three men were trapped over 2,000 feet underground for sixty-nine days. This disaster was caused by a massive cave-in, a rock that was over twice the size of the empire state building, coming loose and causing a massive chain reaction of collapses. Directed by Patricia Riggen, The 33 beautifully displays the human desire to survive. Through desperation, addiction, and a quickly dissolving sense of hope, the thirty-three men must learn to rely on each other to survive this catastrophic event and make it back to the surface in order to reunite with their families.

The 33 MinersThe 33 gives audiences an inside look into the desperation of the drillers that united from around the world, who tirelessly worked for sixty-nine days to excavate the thirty-three trapped miners, and the Chilean government that almost gave up on them. Led by a star studded cast such as Naomi Scott, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, Lou Diamond Phillips, Gabriel Byrne, Bob Gunton and Antonio Banderas, the audience is taken on an emotional roller-coaster that doesn’t end until the credits roll. Antonio Banderas plays Mario Sepúlveda, the self-professed leader of the thirty-three miners who rations the food and does his best to keep spirits high.

During the miners’ time below ground, they gain fame beyond anything they could have wished for and each one is pretty much a millionaire when they surface, yet none of them knows it while trapped. However, Mario lets it slip that he was signing a book deal as their leader, and that raises tensions underground amongst the men. Another one of the men, Darío Segovia played by Juan Pablo Raba, is dealing with alcohol withdrawal and the resentment he still holds towards his sister who abandoned him as a child. Lou Diamond Phillips portrays Luis Urzua ‘Don Lucho’, the mine’s head engineer and foreman. During the initial collapse and even after, “Don Lucho” loses all hope of rescue and Mario plays his counter-balance by inspiring the other thirty-one to never give up hope; to always have faith that their families would save them. Every actor perfectly portrays their character and embodies the sense of desperation, terror, hope and brotherhood that one would expect while trying to survive the impossible.