Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rosewater Review - 3 Stars

The “Daily Show” comic Jon Stewart took off a summer to write and direct this true story of Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari.  While covering the presidential elections n Iran, Bahari agreed to appear on “The Daily Show” in a gag interview in which he is referred to as a spy.  The Iranian police were not amused.  They imprisoned and tortured Bahari for half a year.  Stewart’s film does a fine job of explaining the politics behind the election and the political atmosphere of Iran.  The excellent actor Gael Garcia Bernal plays Bahari with humor and intelligence.   “Rosewater” refers to the fragrance worn by Bahari’s interrogator played by Kim Bodnia, who manages to do what he has to while letting us know he wrestles with his conscience. “Rosewater” sounded like a one note remake of “Midnight Express”–but delivers much more.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Political captive works to survive.  Is it entertaining?  Jon Stewart’s directing and Bernal’s acting make this story accessible.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Much better than expected.