I saw the movie 3 times. I was eager for it's release and was there opening day.
I wasn't disappointed. The love story between the Rafe, Danny and Kate, wasn't what I thought it might be but that wasn't the love story that impressed me.
I think hollywood makes movies and uses composite characters
due to time limitations and compact facts into composite facts.
I felt the movie was overall as accurate as can be given time, effort and limitations. The CGI effects were excellent.
The 3 times I saw the film the theaters were pretty full and the age range was from small children to senior citizens. The children watched and were captivated by the film. That impresses me especially because of the movie's length. I was never bored and never looked at my watch. The time zipped by.
Even if the facts aren't exactly correct, the movie has impact on several new generations and as other posters here have commented, they will be seeking out the real story for themselves. That alone, in my opinion, makes the movie a great film.
The actors all did a fine job and delivered some riveting emotional moments. I thought the deep love story was really the bond between Danny and Rafe. The moments they shared on screen and the sacrifices they were each willing to make for the other, we extremely moving for me. The rescues of men in the harbor that were successful and those that were not, pulled at my heart and brought an emotional realism to the movie for me.
The reason I want to mention the Rafe-Danny bond is, the tragedy of Decemeber 7th, as I have heard survivors describe their views, always mentions the friends they lost that day.
The loss of friends continued for all the military after Pearl Harbor.
Titanic's love story focused on a man, Jack, rescuing, Rose, from her life of empitness. Pearl Harbor focuses on the sacrifices so many men made and chose to make to keep us all free. The depth of the type of sacrifice made by our military far outweighs
the depth of the love story in Titanic. It isn't as romantic, but for me it is much more moving.
There are images from the film I will never forget. Even if they weren't "exactly correct" images, the use of them had a powerful impact on me.
The images of the men trapped in the ships so close to rescue but not being able to be saved, ripped at my heart. I remember from the 50th anniversary one survivor saying the hardest day of all was when the tapping from the men trapped inside the ships
What makes me feel the deep love story was between Danny and Rafe are scenes near the end of the movie. First Rafe doesn't want Danny to even fly the Dolittle mission because of his love for Danny and Evelyn. Then after they are shot down, Danny flys over and strafe's the Japanese helping his friend escape. Again, after Danny and Rafe are captured by the Japanese, once again Danny puts his life on the line for his friend.
Danny saves Rafe's life at the loss of his own.
In the closing moments of the film when Rafe gets off the plane followed by the simple pine coffin of his friend, fills me with emotion that is very deep. It makes me wonder how the men who served at Pearl Harbor and lost their friends there have been able to bear such a great loss. It also serves to remind me about all the men who have served in our military and made the ultimate sacrifice. I liked very much that the film makers gave us characters to care about and that gave life to a deep friendship.
I don't cry at the theater when I see films, but this movie brought tears so many times, I gave up and had a good cry.
If the purpose of this film was to be historically accurate, they weren't on target, but if their purpose was to make a film that honors those who served our military and gave their lives and those who survived Pearl Harbor, I think they did an excellent job. I appreciate that the film "makes me feel" the loss of that day in some measure. We should be stirred in our emotions and I was very much.
(Edited by pennylee99 at 6:24 pm on June 9, 2001)