Who’s Who in Survival Drama

It’s “the greatest rescue the world has ever seen,” the trailer for Ron Howardsurvival drama Thirteen Lives, which chronicles the rescue of a junior football team trapped for 18 days in Thailand’s Tham Luang Nang Non cave after heavy rains flooded the cave and blocked their exit. Knowing what we know of the rescue saga that gripped the world when it happened in 2018, that wouldn’t be a stretch. The chances of survival for the children and their coach were abysmal as floodwaters rose and oxygen and food supplies ran out. Even after being found alive, getting them out of the caves was nearly impossible. The thirteen would have to be extracted, one by one, by an international team of cave divers who can barely enter the narrowest parts of the cave, let alone swim while dragging survivors along its treacherous underwater passages. . “It looks easy, but when it’s flooded, it’s impossible”, warns Colin Farrel playing John Volanthen in the trailer. The dive path is “barely wide, pulling against very strong currents”, explains Richard Stanon (Viggo Mortensen). “You’re trying to sink these kids all the way in, all you’ll come out are dead bodies.”


That all thirteen lives were saved is a testament to the tenacity of human will and what a diverse group of people can do when galvanized and united by a common mission. It celebrates bold creative thinking in the face of insane pressure, as rescuers resort to the novel and dangerous solution of injecting the thirteen with sedatives so that they can be transported, unconscious, through miles of winding tunnels (where the visibility is almost nil) and safe. Explaining that it took a village to achieve this miraculous rescue, Howard brings Thirteen Lives on the big screen on July 29 and Prime Video on August 6 with a star-studded cast of actors who are no strangers to the role of the hero as well as Thai actors playing characters who play a crucial role in the rescue. “One of the things I want to convey is that the Thai people saved these boys.”

Related:’Thirteen Lives’ Trailer: Colin Farrell & Joel Edgerton Go On A Desperate Rescue Mission

Viggo Mortensen as Richard Stanton

Viggo Mortensen plays Richard Stanton, the British cave diver who literally dives headlong into the dangerous mission when he realizes his skills and experience as a cave diver are needed to help save the boys. Overcoming initial resistance from the Thai Navy Seals, Stanton proves himself essential to the rescue. It was Stanton’s brilliant and life-saving idea to calm the boys down with tranquilizers so they could be carried through the murky, panic-inducing tunnels, an arduous journey that would take 5 hours and repeated doses of ketamine to keep sedated boys. “If they had regained consciousness in the middle of the dive, they would have panicked,” Stanton tells The Guardian. While underwater sedation had never been done before, Stanton says, “We didn’t have a plan B. The monsoons were coming and the caves were in danger of flooding. We had to act. »

Mortensen got to see just how dangerous cave diving can be when he trained for the role of Stanton, diving and swimming in cramped quarters to simulate real life rescue conditions. The key was to breathe calmly and slowly to avoid using air, but there was a heartbreaking moment on set when Mortensen accidentally turned off one of his oxygen tanks. While he was able to get back to his other tank, Mortensen had to remind himself to “Just be calm. Don’t panic, because you can drown in seconds. Once you panic and swallow some water, you’re done.

Mortensen’s filmography is proof that the actor is far from chilly. Most famous for playing Aragorn in peter jacksonit is The Lord of the Rings franchisehe made four films with the director David Cronenbergthe last of which is Future Crimes where Mortensen plays Saul, a performance artist who has his organs removed by his partner (Léa Seydoux) in front of a live audience.

Colin Farrell as John Volanthen

Colin Farrel plays cave diver John Volanthen whose discovery of the missing football team is one of the highlights of Thirteen Lives. Finding them was pure luck. Volanthen had swum to the surface after running out of rope, only to find the kids and their adult coach staring at him. “Great!” The Briton Volanthen was delighted to discover that the thirteen missing were alive. “I expected 100% that we would find bodies. I just couldn’t believe they survived. They found the only place in the cave where they could have survived. Along with Stanton and other cave divers from around the world, Volanthen would carry out their daring plan to calm the boys down before getting them to safety. Unlike hospitals where sedatives are monitored and checked for vital signs, Volanthen had to make periodic stops to check if the tranquilized children were still breathing. In a tense moment in the trailer, Volanthen begs one of the unconscious boys to “breathe”. Panicking at one point, Volanthen asks his teammates for a minute to calm down before saying, “OK. We can do it.”

Farrell caught up with Volanthen on Zoom calls to absorb the Brit’s speaking style, mannerisms and wardrobe. Transformations are Farrell’s expertise and performance as Penguin in the hit hit The Batman remains a crowd favorite. He’s believable even in outrageous roles, playing a newly single man who will turn into a lobster if he doesn’t find a partner within 45 days. Lobster and a suicidal, guilt-ridden hitman In Brugge for which Farrell won the Golden Globe for Best Actor.

Related: 9 Essential Colin Farrell Performances, From ‘Total Recall’ to ‘Miami Vice’

Joel Edgerton rooms Dr. Richard Harris, the Australian cave diver and anesthetist brought in on the rescue mission after it becomes clear the boys will need to be tranquilized for their journey out of the cave. “It’s insane, it’s unethical, it’s illegal,” Harris says in the trailer, initially balking at the idea and admitting to a Thai official he expected losses. . Convincing Harris to set aside standard medical protocols and go ahead and put the kids to sleep is one of the highlights of Thirteen Lives which is both a cave rescue and a medical mission. Children are essentially “rag dolls” once they’re sedated, and Harris made sure their heads were held upright to keep their airways clear. “I can’t tell you how bad it looks,” he later recalled, having to attach oxygen masks to the tranquilized children and dip their heads in water to check if they would continue to breathe. He wouldn’t know if the children were dead or alive until they emerged from the cave several excruciating hours later.

Edgerton is no stranger to the superhero genre. He played Owen Lars in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones realized by george lucasa role he reprized in the Disney+ series Obi Wan Kenobi. Edgerton has had starring roles in huge movies like by Baz Luhrmann Gatsby the magnificent and zero dark thirty and directed critically acclaimed films like Gift and erased boy. “I’m so proud to show this film at a time when people feel a sense of isolation,” Edgerton says of his role in Thirteen Lives. “At the end of the day, people want to help others.”

Chris Jewell is the British computer software consultant and expert cave diver called in to join the rescue. It would be his very first rescue mission and the whole world was watching. Jewell is portrayed by tom batmanwho is best known for his roles in the historical fantasy drama series Da Vinci’s Demons and in the movie Murder on the Orient Express. During the filming of Thirteen Lives, Bateman reminds stuck between rocks and stuck underwater for about seven minutes. “I could just see my heart rate go up and up and up. But the beautiful gift was getting over that…it’s all in your head.”

Howard makes sure that Thirteen Lives celebrates the heroism of the Thai people by choosing Thai actors to play crucial roles. Sahajak Boonthanakit (Handful of Revenge) plays the acting governor of Chiang Rai province, Narongsak Osatanakorn, whose impossible task was to organize all the moving parts of this multi-faceted rescue. Teeradon Supapunpinyo (Evil genius) portrays Ekkaphon Chanthawong, the assistant coach and 25-year-old monk who kept the children alive by teaching them to meditate, retaining air and energy long enough until they were rescued. The coach had been the most malnourished because he had given his share of food to the children. Sukollawat Kanarot (Malila: the farewell flower) plays Saman Kunan, the former Thai Navy seal who dies from lack of oxygen after placing air tanks inside the increasingly crowded cave. An experienced diver and triathlete, his death underscored the danger posed to missing children and their rescuers. Pattrakorn Tungsupakul (The perfect couple) plays Buahom, the stateless mother of Chai, one of the boys trapped in the cave, whose powerful faith kept the boys’ hopes of survival alive. Naphand Boonyai (No leak) plays Thanet Natisri, a water engineer who led efforts to fill sinkholes and divert rainwater that could rise and drown the boys.

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