Director: Jon Stewart
Writer: Jon Stewart
Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, Shoreh Aghdashloo, Kim Bodnia
Studio: Open Road

“Rosewater” is about Maziar Bahari being held captive as a foreign spy. Bahari was just a journalist on par with a Stewart or Colbert, but that didn’t matter to Iran. They don’t like him covering their elections. If anything, it feels like a betrayal to them due to Bahari being of the same vague ethnic background. They give him grief about his Sopranos DVDs in his baggage, then they throw him into prison for six months. I’m not a fan of fascist regimes (Eastern and Western), but everything feels rushed. I never read Bahari’s book, but I feel like it would detail most of what Stewart rushed.

Jon Stewart made a good first effort, but not a great one. Leonard Cohen sets the scene for the most powerful moment in the movie, but it doesn’t feel earned. We’re watching torture sustained through a drama filter to make a film about a man enduring what he must for a Free Press. That being said, nothing changed. Iran still believes that the West is spying on them and nobody apologized for what happened to Bahari. He was targeted and abandoned due to his loss of importance. This is a movie about being a pawn.

I’m glad that I got to see this film, however I feel that a sharper talent could’ve got far more out of the material. Honestly, I don’t see any issue with waiting to see it on Home Video. I wouldn’t call “Rosewater” important, but it’s necessary to keep its goals in the cinema. The First World should be on constant guard for journalists that work together to uncover the many ills of the World. But, they don’t always make for the best narrative features. If one of the readers has read Bahari’s book, then let me know if it corrects this.



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