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  • Writer's pictureVishwa R.

Thirteen Lives: A Story Of Life Or Death

This Amazon Studios film depicts the rescue of the Thai soccer team and their coach from a cave.

The Tham Luang Cave Rescue

The movie Thirteen Lives documents the events of the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue. The film's name derives from the number of individuals trapped inside a cave during that rescue consisting of 12 soccer teammates aged 12-16 and their coach. Throughout the movie, we are given a glimpse of how all of them got trapped in a cave, the insane rescue that took place to save them, and all the other events that occurred during the grueling two weeks this horrible incident lasted.

Viewer Experience

The movie starts off relatively slow, causing the reader to expect just another typical film based on people rescuing others in distress. However, you slowly realize at some point that this movie is meant to be a documentary; thus, this movie-like situation took place in real life. When I realized this, the movie was completely different, suddenly changing to intense and nail-biting rather than the static plot it seemed to carry. Upon finishing the film, you realize that not much happened, with most of the movie depicting the same trip from the start of the cave to its end, saving one individual at a time. Yet, you still watch that same trip with the same intensity each time because the cinematography perfectly captured the emotions of each situation. This intensity, mixed with the feelings of the family members of those trapped individuals, made it a pretty well-rounded film and even better documentation.

Further Highlights

Beyond the events being documented themself, I want to highlight the beautiful merge of three different groups of people in this joint event. One group was the family members who expressed themselves to be naive and wanted their children back, not considering much of the difficulties in the process of such a rescue. On the other hand, we unexpectedly see that English-speaking foreigners were brought to save the boys due to their considerable experience and knowledge of such situations. Finally, you see the officials in between these two groups doing their best to help but also confusing the audience on whether they are good or bad in this situation. There was a clear difference between these three groups' beliefs, emotions, thinking, and actions, making the movie slightly more beautiful upon the rescue being carried out relatively successfully.

Closing Critiques

Like all my reviews, I like to recommend movies to the specific types of people they will suit. This film, as I mentioned a few times, is a documentary depicting true events that occurred. Though there is nothing in the film that children shouldn't see, the movie is meant for more mature minds. Nonetheless, it is an excellent watch for anyone interested in an intense and well-put-together film. I would also like to add that anyone who wishes to watch this movie should read about the actual events this was based on, either before or after the movie. Doing this further enhanced my post-completion experience, and I am sure it will do the same for others.

Raving Critic: 7.2

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