Monday, November 17, 2014
Jon Stewart's Rosewater is the latest film to ask this question. The film focuses on Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari's arrest following the controversial 2009 presidential election. (It should also be pointed that it was an interview on Stewart's own show that got Bahari in hot water.)
The film stars Gael Garcia Bernal as Bahari. While not exactly his best work (that goes to The Motorcycle Diaries), Bernal does keep the film afloat from beginning to end. Though one has to wonder why Stewart cast a Mexican actor instead of an Iranian one. (Again, Bernal is still good regardless.)
There's no doubt that Stewart's a good news anchor but how are his skills as a director? Rosewater certainly brings the facts of the story to life but it feels too sanitized, even for a film. Admittedly, it feels more like a news story than a film.
That said, however, Rosewater is rather good. Even though you can tell this was made by a first-time director, Stewart does show how the world we live in is far form being idyllic. All it takes for the world in becoming a better place is those willing to speak against their government, even if it'll cost them their freedom (or, for the not so fortunate, their lives).
My Rating: ****