Rosewater – 3 out of 5
I’m a big fan of Jon Stewart and will miss him terribly when he leaves The Daily Show. When he left for a brief period to write and direct Rosewater, the adapted story of journalist Maziar Bahari being detained as a potential spy in Iran, I was sold and instantly intrigued due to nothing other than how I highly regard the man. Stewart is known for being an eloquent, intelligent, and, most of all, funny man that slings hysterical barbs at the news media. I harbored no illusions that this comedian would be making a film that was funny but I was pretty interested to see how this new director would bring to light the drama and horrors that Bahari went through.
Not Pictured: Water...unless you count the dew droplets.
|Elections are not a reason to riot...sports is the only|
reason to riot. Amirit, white people?
|Normally I would put a joke here but...yeah...it just doesn't feel right at all.|
The story of Bahari is a pretty amazing one and it’s pretty fitting that Jon Stewart took the time to write and direct the film adaptation since the show he’s on indirectly caused a lot of Bahari’s problems (Bahari had been on a segment for the show and it was used as evidence during his interrogation to show that he was a spy—satire and humor is not a strong suit there, apparently). However, as interesting as the film is, I didn’t find it as moving as I hoped I would have.
|Dammit, Jason Jones, I knew that someday your delightful humor would end |
up hurting someone!
For being Jon Stewart’s directorial debut, he did a great job. He helped show that Bahari was just a normal guy who was scared to really get involved with any potential revolutionary actions in Iran (and it was sort of justified) and Stewart has some beautiful camera work that really highlights the horrors Bahari is going through. However, when I look at the film from an overall perspective, there isn’t much that stands out and is instantly attention-grabbing like a lot of other directors. Granted, this was Stewart’s first time directing a film and he has yet to establish a style, so I don’t really see this as a drawback. For what it is, Stewart crafted a great film.
|I think the gate symbolizes...well...most likely a gate.|
Additionally, Bernal is fantastic as Bahari. He really nailed the loss of hope and the sudden re-discovery of it while he was imprisoned. Bernal was capable of being charming and sympathetic and made for some touching moments. He even was capable of making some mildly amusing moments when he is messing with his captor, who is played by Kim Bodnia—who, himself, was excellent in the film.
|He tortured Bahari by making him watch Paul Blart and its sequel over and over again.|
|Bahari is actually in the Iranian version of Cash Cab.|
|But, dammit, it was still complimentary enough to make me cry!|
In the end, that was really my only complaint about Rosewater. The only other issue would be a great lack of replay value. Usually, heavy dramas like this that are based on real-life events don’t rank highly with the "I’m bored, I’ll watch this movie again" category and this is no exception. Occasionally I will find myself watching a film like this again at some point in my life but other than possibly comparing it to the inevitable later works of Stewart, that will no doubt happen, I don’t think I will ever watch this film again anytime soon. However, that being said, the film is tremendously acted, has a great and poignant story, and is a fantastic first outing for Jon Stewart.
|It was a little odd that my eyes got dry and watery when the reuniting scene happened, though.|