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In Patriots Day, Dun Meng is video calling to his parents about his new vehicle. (This happens at the beginning of the movie).

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The terrorist hijack his vehicle later.

The next victim, this cute couple appeared on screen even before the attacks.

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After the attacks, this couples lost their legs in the terrorist attacks.

What is the significance of showing the victims even before the attacks?

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Because it provides a point of empathy and connection to the victims for the audience

If we get to know them, even a little, before they become victims, it adds to the tragedy of the story.

These are ordinary people, just going about their day, each, in the examples you gave, with reasons to celebrate or just be happy with their lives.

Without that connection to the audience, they just become, if you will, just random victims...and the impact of the event would be lessened.

Also, remember these are real people being portrayed and we do see their final stories at the end of the movie...another point of connection.

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