February 06, 2015

Rosewater (2014)

Rosewater (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Jon Stewart
Country: USA

Movie Review: In “Rosewater”, a political drama focused on the crime of bearing witness, Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal is Maziar Bahari, the former Newsweek’s Iranian journalist who spent four months in solitary confinement at Evin Prison, northwestern Tehran, after being arrested by the authorities in June 2009 due to an inoffensive interview given to a satirical American TV show, under the accusation of maintaining contacts with an American spy. Jon Stewart, most known as a television host and TV movie producer, makes his directorial debut from his own screenplay, based on the memoir “Then They Came for Me” by Bahari and Aimee Molloy. Not so invigorating as it was supposed to be, “Rosewater” ends up being a bland exercise that relies on the same routines of the genre. If even those routines had been put in good use, perhaps we would have something more palpable here, but the superficiality of its mechanisms left me indifferent to what Bahari had to endure. Its biggest issue relates to the fact that the first half, when the journalist was shooting the civilian uproars after Ahmadinejad’s reelection, was more captivating and active than the second, where the menacing interrogations by governmental agents were more time-consuming than really an added value. The film, in spite of politically enlightening, falls gradually in the abyss, pushed by the elements that were supposed to bring something more to the emotional side, but simply didn’t work out. I’m talking about the journalist’s imaginary conversations with his sister and deceased father (two former anti-regime resistants), or the arduous distance from his pregnant fiancĂ© whose actions in the UK were extremely important to take the case to a triumphant conclusion.

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