Daniel and Mariane Pearl were both journalists working in Karachi, Pakistan. At the time of the kidnapping, Mariane was five months pregnant with their first child and they were due to leave Pakistan after Daniel conducted one final interview - that of local fundamentalist Muslim leader Sheikh Gilani. On the way to this interview, which we later find out was a complete set-up not involving Gilani at all, Pearl is spirited away by a radical militant group. Days pass with no word from Daniel and it seems as though he has simply vanished. Viewers watch as Mariane, tormented by the unknown, rallies together friends, government officials, and contacts in every attempt to locate Daniel. You can see the frustration of dealing with foreign entities as precious time ticks away. To their credit, it is clear that the Pakistani and American men investigating Pearl's disappearance were relentless in searching for him. Of course, as the story unfolds, there is no hope as history has already dictated that this story has a dreadful ending. When Mariane is finally told of Danny's death, one can't help but cry as her heart is ripped in two. Jolie's performance is visceral and moving. Actual footage from the time is utilized in different parts of the film and it is simply chilling to see the actual Danny Pearl in his final moments on earth as the video rolls.
You do not watch A Mighty Heart because it is a cool movie and a good time. You watch it to learn the story of a man who lived by honesty and who loved a woman and an unborn child with such intensity that he was able to smile while being taped by captives to send a message to his beloved wife. While short on Special Features, there is a making-of featurette that clearly shows that this movie was a labor of love above all else. A Mighty Heart is Danny Pearl's story as told through the loving words of his devoted wife, Mariane. His is a plight that fascinated and horrified a nation five years ago and this is the part of the story that you never heard. Highly recommended.