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The 15:17 to Paris was not made for the big screen

The 15:17 to Paris was not made for the big screen

On Aug. 21, 2015, more than 500 passengers were aboard a train bound for Paris. Among these passengers were three friends who are now recognized as heroes. Thalys Train 9364 is better known as the location of an attempted terrorist attack. It would have been a successful one if Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone, and Aleks Skarlatos had not decided to make Paris the next destination on their European adventure.  

Clint Eastwood made the bold move to tell the story of these men and the events leading up to their courageous acts in “The 15:17 to Paris.” What made this movie risky was the fact that Sadler, Stone, and Skarlatos played themselves in this movie.

Having non-actors recreate the most memorable moment of their lives does not seem like a hard task, but the result of the film shows how difficult it is. The film was not just about the attack; it was about their childhood, friendship, family, and everything leading up to Aug 21.

Despite the movie being about real events, the acting and dialogue throughout the movie made it difficult to believe that this is truly how everything went down. The flashback to their childhood was rushed.

Their travels through Europe, a couple weeks before the attack, was slow. There were points that were missing that could have benefited the movie and parts included that did not benefit at all.

I did not expect much, since these men are not real actors, but I also did not think it was possible to make real events seem so fake.

Within the last 15 to 20 minutes, the movie is at the point of the terrorist attack, and we see how exactly each of these men helped stopped the attack. This part made my heart race a little and it was a reality check. However, it is difficult to recreate something so surreal, and there were parts here and there that made me ask if that is how it really happened.

The most realistic part of the movie was the actual footage from a ceremony in France where those who helped stopped the attack were thanked and awarded. The story is very moving and one that should not be forgotten, but it was not for the big screen.

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Jen Gordus, Author

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