'WSJ' Colleague of Danny Pearl Calls New Movie 'A Mighty Shame'

By: E&P Staff The headline tips it off: "A Mighty Shame." It's a Sunday essay on the new Angelina Jolie movie about Danny and Mariane Pearl called "A Mighty Heart." It's written by Asra Q. Nomani, who now teaches journalism in Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies.

Nomani knew Pearl as a colleague at The Wall Street Journal and last saw him in January 2002, just before he disappeared. In the piece, she describes watching a DVD of the new film: "Slowly, as the scenes ticked by, my heart sank. I could live with having been reduced from a colleague of Danny's to a 'charming assistant' to Mariane, as one review put it, and even with having been cut out of the scene in front of my house in Pakistan. That's the creative license Hollywood takes. What I couldn't accept was that Danny himself had been cut from his own story.

"The character I saw on the screen was flat -- nerdy, bland and boring. He's not at all like Danny, who wrote 'ditties' about Osama bin Laden while he was investigating Pakistan's nuclear secrets and jihadist groups as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. On screen, he's warned three times to meet with Sheik Mubarik Ali Gilani -- the man with whom he thought he had an interview -- only in public. But off he goes, ignoring the warnings. The message: Reckless journalist.

"That was nothing like the Danny I knew. As the credits rolled, I murmured to my mother, 'Danny had a cameo in his own murder.'"

She also accuses the filmmakers of setting out to make the movie as a "mega-star vehicle" for Jolie.

For the rest, go to www.washingtonpost.com.

The Post on Saturday carried an article examining criticism that Jolie had darkened her skin to play Mariane Pearl, with some saying the part should have gone to someone who did not have to do that.

The film got off to a slow start at the box office this weekend.


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