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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Drama flick reveals depth with nice dose of humor

By Jamil Oakford/se news editor

Jon Stewart is best known for his satirical comedy The Daily Show. But with his directorial film debut, he may just have a few shockers for those who see him only as the funny guy.

Rosewater is based on the memoirs of Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari. This film paints a vivid picture of a journalist who was there only to capture the story of the Iranian elections of 2009.

The movie begins at Bahari’s childhood home, where he is awakened by his mother and then arrested.

The crux of why Stewart’s name is even attached to this film is connected to why Bahari was arrested. While he initially thought he was arrested because he filmed a violent protest as it was happening, Bahari finds out that he’s actually in prison for something much bigger than filming a protest.

Rosewater (Kim Bodina) interrogates imprisoned journalist Maziar Bahari (Gael García Bernal) about why he came back to Iran in Open Road’s new film Rosewater. Photo courtesy Open Roads
Rosewater (Kim Bodina) interrogates imprisoned journalist Maziar Bahari (Gael García Bernal) about why he came back to Iran in Open Road’s new film Rosewater. Photo courtesy Open Roads

And from the moment the audience figures out the exact reason the police brought him in, the comical nature of the circumstances begin to become haunting and overall frightening.

Gael García Bernal drives the entire film with his portrayal of Bahari, taking the audience on a scary roller coaster ride as they experience his imprisonment with him.

Equally as stunning is Kim Bodina, who plays Rosewater, the interrogator. He plays an ill-informed federal policeman very well, and somehow it becomes absolutely comical toward the end.

Another great aspect included some of the directorial choices made. There’s a sequence of scenes where Bahari talks about his father and sister. The way in which the facts are made visually available for the audience is interesting.

Stewart actually chooses this idea a couple of times, and it really pays off on the emotional impact.

While the content is heavy and it qualifies as a drama, there is enough comedy throughout the film to keep the audience from feeling too burdened. Stewart, who also wrote and produced this, bought into the idea that at some point the situation becomes too absurd, and laughter is the only thing to stop oneself from crying.

This film is a great pick for people who enjoy deep, insightful stories and think world politics is interesting. It’s definitely not a film for everyone’s tastes, and it makes no apologies for that. This might be a good movie to rent OnDemand when it leaves the cinema.

 

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