It is easy to remember an event by what the media says, but a full story is usually spared, especially if controversy is involved. The new movie “Deepwater Horizon,” which is about the explosion of an oil rig off of the Gulf Coast, reveals the truth of what people may simply know as a catastrophic oil spill. The movie according to the official site, “honors the brave men and women whose heroism would save many on board, and change everyone’s lives forever.”
Without knowing the full backstory of the event, viewers are thrown into the harsh reality that not everything is fully disclosed through news programs. According to an article in the New York Times that was written a few months after the event in 2010, “interviews with 21 Horizon crew members and on sworn testimony and written statements from nearly all of the other 94 people who escaped the rig” is what helped to piece together the story.
The acting, screen writing and special effects are breathtaking and heartbreaking all at once. The entire production pulls the audience in by creating incredibly realistic and powerful scenes — which only in the opinion of those who were present could truly be considered powerful reenactments. What proves to be the most compelling aspect in this movie is the talented cast that seamlessly adopts the roles of their characters, as hard as that may be in regards to a true event.
Mark Wahlberg plays Mike Williams, the chief electrical technician on board of the Deepwater Horizon, who was in charge of maintenance of all minor and major technological aspects of the rig. Kurt Russell plays “Mr. Jimmy” Harrell who was the boss of the Horizon, who from the beginning sticks to his instincts about the ill-prepared oil rig against the BP executives like one man played by John Malkovich.
Walhberg and a few other members arrive on the rig to begin their 21-day shift to find that executives from BP and officials from Transocean – the company who owns the rig – are present and send away the men who are meant to check the concrete to make sure that the entire rig and pipes are ready to begin pumping fuel, selfishly saying the inspections were not necessary.
As suspected, after running a test too early from the pushing of the BP executive, the tests do not come back positively. Due to the concrete cracking on the ocean floor, the pressure caused mud, oil and debris to begin making its way dangerously up through the main pipe. Caleb Holloway (Dylan O’Brien), also known as “Hollywood,” is one of the men stationed on the floor, manning the pipe to make sure everything is running smoothly. He is the person who first notices the unwarranted leakage of mud out of the pipe, which, within seconds, turns catastrophic.
As the leak begins to spread from several sources and increases in power throughout the rig, much of the machinery begins to overwork and gas begins to spread, causing explosions that inevitably cause a domino effect of injury and destruction on every inch of the rig.
Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez) is the only woman who was depicted on board the Deepwater Horizon in the movie and was a bridge officer who was only 23 at the time, given the duty of monitoring emergency signals and alarms. Interaction between her character and Wahlberg’s during catastrophe, as well as many of the other characters, show just how willing some people are to help one another when even they themselves feel as if they have no hope.
Every viewer will have their own reaction to the story played out before them, but it is more than likely that each will walk away with new knowledge and respect towards the men and women involved in what has been widely known as only being a catastrophic oil spill.