Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Patriots Day’ (2016)

CBS Films

CBS Films

Archetypal, explosive violence – the coupling of energy that’s both Martian-aggressive and Uranian-sudden – is both a personal and collective attack in Patriots Day.

Co-written and directed by Peter Berg, the film sets in motion the rhythms just prior to the Boston Marathon, in 1913, that traditionally falls on what’s called Patriots Day. That year, the athletic celebration turned tragic, as the Tsarnaev brothers, in a terrorist act, set off bombs that killed three and maimed several dozens citizens.

Patriots Day takes its time casually introducing us to various Boston residents who’ll become significant parts of the narrative: married couple Jessica Kensky (Rachael Brosnahan) and Patrick Downes (Christopher O’Shea), who plan to compete the following day; a Chinese tech student and entrepreneur (Jimmy O. Yang); a policeman (Jack Picking) who monitors the MIT campus; and short-fused Dzhokhar (Themo Melikidze) and drug dealer Tamerlan (Alex Wolff) Tsarnaev.

The central – and fictionalized – figure here is police sergeant Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg), who’s thisclose to being suspended from the force, and takes on a law-enforcement assignment at the marathon’s finish line to get back into his superiors’ good graces.

After the bombs detonate, Patriots Day delves into various facets of the Mars-Uranus combo. In Uranian fashion, the explosions are unexpected, serving the Tsarnaevs’ goal, as Uranian rebels, to dismantle old structures and philosophies. The victims are blindsided – Uranus’s modus operandi – by Martian violence during a Mars-competitive event. The investigation relies on Uranian technology – security tapes and other data – and that planet’s intuition, demonstrated when one local man decides, at a key moment, to check on his backyard-housed boat. Mars’ anger is everywhere, from within the hearts of the siblings to the blood on both victims and police officers.

The ensuing criminal-discovery process is a Uranian, collective effort among the police, FBI, Boston, Watertown and the state of Massachusetts (represented by J.K. Simmons, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, Vincent Curatola and Michael Beach, among others) and even an unspecified interrogator (Khandi Alexander), who tries to get info out of Tamerlan’s steely wife Katherine (Melissa Benoist).

Boston, as vital a character as the humans, is the collective heart that bleeds. It’s understandable that Wahlberg, a native son, committed to commemorate and help heal the wound.

Archetype: Explosive Violence.

Astrology Archetype: ♂ ♅  (Mars, Uranus)

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