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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Movie Review - Rosewater

Rosewater (2014)
Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Kim Bodnia, Nasser Faris, and Shohreh Agdashloo
Directed by Jon Stewart
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

Being held captive against your will by a corrupt government must be horrible.  There's no denying the agony that something like this would put both the captive person and his or her family through, fearing that death is always an imminent possibility.  Because of how horrid this circumstance would be, I can't help but feel incredibly guilty that while I was watching Rosewater I found myself saying that Iranian-Canadian journalist Mazier Bahari's plight wasn't all that bad while he was detained by Iran for 118 days.

Don't get me wrong -- it was awful.  I know it was awful that Bahari was taken in after a Daily Show interview was looked upon as "truthful" by Iranian officials as opposed to the "satire" it was meant to be.  I know it was awful that he was kept away from his pregnant wife for nearly four months.  I know that it was awful that he was kept blindfolded in a small cell while interrogated for hours on end about his purportedly treasonous ways.

Yet, somehow his plight didn't feel "movie-worthy."  I recognize the callousness of this.  I know I'm wrong.  But first-time director-screenwriter Jon Stewart doesn't make Bahari's horrible condition compelling enough to warrant celluloid.  While there were certainly moments that show some potential in Stewart's eye and from his pen and the director gets a nice turn from Gael Garcia Bernal as Bahari, Rosewater lacks compelling action and the languid state of the piece doesn't work in its favor.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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