Thirteen Lives Review

Thirteen Lives
Thirteen Lives
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Ron Howard, the director, creates a thrilling story about the rescue mission that had worldwide attention. On 23rd June 2018, twelve boys from Thailand and their football coach went into the Tham Luang Nang Non cave systems as part of an adventure trip. Thirteen Lives describes their incredible journey to survive and be rescued after being trapped for eighteen days by rising water levels. The movie unfolds on multiple fronts with different groups converging to locate then plan a dangerous extraction for them. Thirteen Lives possesses outstanding technical attributes showing just how hard it was in the history of mankind. There is enough representation of emotional drama but toned down through rather clinical approach.

Thirteen Lives starts with Wild Boars playing soccer on a green field under grey skies. They have a birthday party later that night which they are supposed to attend after exploring nearby caves. Ekkaphon Chanthawong (Teeradon Supapunpinyo), their coach joins them as the supervisor for this outing. Everyone enters into the cave complex jokingly wearing only what they had on themselves at that time while ignoring signs warning against flash floods.

Hours later during heavy rains, none of these children show up at the party and so parents get alarmed when informed about their whereabouts – inside caves! Everybody rushes towards entrance points whereupon finding it blocked by raging waters some call the police while others seek help from rescue teams who also fail due to high levels of flooding in there already. They then contact Governor Narongsak (Sahajak Boonthanakit) who takes charge over the operation following the involvement of Thai Navy Seals too.

A few days go past during which time news about missing kids captures world media attention; hence turning the entrance gate into a chaotic scene filled with people from every walk of life doing everything possible desperately hoping against hope that somehow a miracle can happen soonest possible moment because monsoon rains continue pounding rest parts country. British national living Thailand known widely as Vern Unsworth (Lewis Fitz-Gerald), experienced diver caves-after warning Governor Narongsak on ticking clock hours later he reaches out for Richard Stanton (Viggo Mortensen) together with John Volanthen (Colin Farrell) English diver fireman IT consultant respectively believed best cave divers globally but upon arrival at the scene, they are met by the chaotic situation where even governor under pressure allows them freely explore confusing labyrinthine nature of these caves. Even if alive what next since there is no way one would expect all those people trapped inside to come out alive besides that Stanton thinks death must have occurred down there somewhere already thus making finding anybody else an impossible task let alone rescuing anybody.

Thirteen Lives takes the form of a semi-factual film; hence Howard employs visual markers onscreen so as not only to keep the audience informed about how far deep children were stuck but also serve as signposts for progress made by rescuers. That’s quite clever I must admit. Additionally, there’s an engineer (Gerwin Widjaja) who tries to convince local villagers to assist in diverting mountain rains elsewhere by digging trenches that will act as channels for water flow away from caves – this generates a frantic all-hands-on-deck kind-of atmosphere which contributes to further chaos surrounding events. Stanton and Volanthen played key roles during the entire operation though many other persons were equally involved working tirelessly day and night without rest until the mission was accomplished.

If you are claustrophobic then it’s advisable not to watch Thirteen Lives because diving scenes appear very real meaning that one might end up having nightmares afterward as well since these brave souls had swim through dark waters filled with debris while silt kept raining down; in some places they even had crawl through spaces barely larger than their bodies. Here rushing water can be heard along with scuba gear scraping against rocks due exhaustion from continuous effort being put forth under such harsh conditions sound design editing plus visual effects deserve high commendation too – Ron Howard and his team did a great job in recreating dangerous cave settings.

Mortensen and Farrell dominate the narrative in act two. Stanton and Volanthen, for instance, had entirely different temperaments. Their down-to-earthiness kept their feelings in check while Volanthen could empathize with families’ grief and fear; he was ready to communicate with them, to be with them. But Stanton did not wish to raise false hopes. They were dealing with political nonsense on top of the ground while trying to carry out a nearly impossible search under earth miles away from where they were standing. They were nothing but brave those men! What they achieved was indeed historical! Their efforts, resolve, and ingenious solution to get the children out of the cave are never underestimated by Thirteen Lives.

This is a multi-faceted story. This linearity as a search-and-rescue adventure is taken up by Howard along with renowned playwright William Nicholson (Shadowlands, Gladiator). Thus British cave divers become the main heroes or heroines who saved these boys’ lives against all odds. However, there is a lack of elaboration on the sufferings of these children or even worries from their parent’s side. There’s no shortage of suspense here; however, it would have been nice if we were shown how survived those kids in that place.

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