There’s an extraordinary story to be told here. It’s just a shame it had to be told in such an ordinary way.
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Destined to make audiences weep, The Swimmers is no doubt a crowd-pleaser with an important message about the growing refugee crisis worldwide, and Yusra’s story is one worth telling. It’s a pity the filmmakers couldn’t take the time to see her life as more than just a vessel for this message.
In the case of Yusra and Sara Mardini’s remarkable survival story, their empowering journey ultimately proves more rewarding than the conventional destination.
Its impact comes not only from the real-life events it’s depicting, but also the way in which it frames this now-familiar tale; a triumph of human – and particularly female – will against adversity and a celebration of those who would seek a better life, despite the costs.
At a bloated 134 minutes . . . your brain may well start to prune, the way fingers do when they spend too much time in water.
As urgent and necessary as their story is, it also feels too familiar on cinematic terms.
Alternating between exuberant and exhilarating, heart-warming and horrific, "The Swimmers" is an ambitious picture that tells an almost unbelievable tale of struggle, perseverance, and triumph.
The juxtaposition of jubilance and misery is the film’s modus operandi, however jarring it may seem.