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Rosewater (2014) Reviewed By Jay

United States, 04 April 2014


Jay´s Review

Daily Show with Jon Stewart, London-based journalist Maziar Bahari was interviewed by Jason Jones. As part of the gag, Bahari called Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "an idiot" but Iran didn't get the joke. When sent him to Tehran to cover the presidential election, he was arrested and placed in solitary confinement for 118 days where he was subjected to grueling interrogations. He was suspected of attempting to overthrow the Iranian government.
After he was released, he was interviewed by Jon Stewart because the show had inadvertently caused his imprisonment. They became friends and Stewart makes his screen-writing and directorial debut with this R-rated film based on the book, "," co-written by Bahari and Aimee Molloy.

  • Gael Garcia Bernal ("Casa de mi Padre") plays Maziar Bahari, astonished by the misunderstanding and unable to explain that neither Italian movies nor the American TV series The Sopranos are pornography. When his jailers declare that Jon Stewart is a spy, he asks, "Why would a spy have a TV show?"
  • Shohreh Aghdashloo ("Grimm") is his mother Moloojoon, who has already lost a husband and a daughter to zealotry. The police are offended because she isn't wearing a head scarf in her own home.
  • Haluk Bilginer ("The Reluctant Fundamentalist") Maziar's deceased father Baba Akbar only appears to him in solitary.
  • Kim Bodnia ("The Bridge") is Rosewater, Maziar's interrogator. We are relieved when our prisoner, to retain his own sanity, starts to create elaborate tales of mythical trips to licentious "New Jersey" for pornographic massages. These "confessions" are irresistible to his tormentor. Our screening audience giggled with glee.



We see beatings and mental torture, but are not subjected to scenes of waterboarding, etc, which have become standard for movies of this ilk. Whew! This is an interesting and dare I say, entertaining film.

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