Tim (Jim Caviezel) is a government agent tasked with tracking and arresting paedophiles. Naturally, his daily work isn’t the easiest as he is often required to watch disturbing video footage and occasionally go undercover to make an arrest with proper evidence. After recently arresting a man guilty of child trafficking, Tim successfully rescues a young boy. During a conversation with the little boy, Tim soon discovers that he has a sister who is still enslaved.
Tim is determined to continue investigating, but there’s only so far his employer can support him. With no other choice and a heart to rescue the young girl, Tim decides to risk his job and go out alone, making it a personal mission to find the young girl and bring her back to safety. For those who are unaware, Sound of Freedom is based on a true story.
Sound of Freedom packs a solid punch with facts surrounding the slave trade in the present day, which primarily affects children. As a father, it’s a tense watch, but I also found myself grateful for the film taking bold risks and shining a light in an incredibly dark world. There are also many uplifting moments and a positive message for audiences. The story and tone are easily the film’s biggest highlight and praise point. Another strength is the locations and strong visuals. Witnessing Tim investigating in Cartagena and interacting with its people is another example where the film feels authentic and introduces an unsafe and uncomfortable world. Continually strong and sharp visuals accompany these scenes. Jim Caviezel is great here, and it’s obvious the actor himself is passionate about bringing the story to the surface with everything he has within him. Line deliveries are strong, and there are some strong, emotional scenes. The side performance from actor Bill Camp as Vampiro also had many great moments, including a monologue, which is influential to witness.
However, despite much praise, the film suffers from some minor issues. While line deliveries are great, many actors throughout are wooden with their body language and, in most cases, speak while standing still like a brick. The first act is sadly slower than perfect and has a questionable pace and editing with abrupt cuts between scenes, which sometimes feels wonky and unclear. However, once Tim begins his rescue mission and takes a massive step of faith, there’s a significant improvement in the film, which becomes far more gripping and impactful. Fans of actress Mira Sorvino will be disappointed by her lack of screen presence. How the actress is utilised feels like a missed opportunity, and her line deliveries feel unnatural given the importance she plays as Tim’s supportive and compassionate wife.
Overall, this film packs a hard-hitting punch relating to the current state of the slave trade in the present day. I felt grateful that the filmmakers made a bold move and took risks to tell this story. Its message is clear and heavily impacting for all audiences, and it’s impossible not to walk away thinking about this film. Visuals are strong, and it’s evident that the lead actor Jim Caviezel has plenty of heart and passion for this story, fuelling his emotional and heartfelt performance throughout. Supporting actor Bill Camp is also fantastic here. With only a couple of issues relating to the soundtrack, which felt weak in places, and a poor first act with clunky editing, the film dramatically transforms and hits hard in the second and third act with facts.
Sound of Freedom (2023) is Avilable in Australian Cinemas from August 24th.