Directed By – Jon Stewart
Screenplay By – Jon Stewart
Based on the Book by – Maziar Bahari & Aimee Molloy
Cinematography By – Bobby Bukowski
Starring Gael García Bernal, Kim Bodnia & Shohreh Aghdashloo
Given how insightful Jon Stewart is on The Daily Show, I was expecting something more than the usual American made Middle-East movie from the first time director. However, my optimism appears to have been misplaced as even someone as smart as Stewart clearly had a hard time in his directorial debut.
Rosewater isn’t as much of a poor showing of directing as it is a poor choice in story. The true story of the solitary confinement of reporter Maziar Bahari is interesting in terms of it’s relation to Stewart and The Daily Show, but the movie comes off as Stewart’s one-note apology to Bahari for getting him into the situation through Bahari’s cooperation during a Daily Show interview. Rosewater isn’t even that long of a movie but comes in forty minutes too long. It’s not a bad movie per se, but it doesn’t add anything to the conversation of the Middle East, it merely reinforces our notions of the corruption that plagues Middle East governments.
Rosewater is interesting for two reasons. One, how a man gets taken prisoner for being interviewed by The Daily Show. Two, because the man who runs The Daily Show decided to turn that story into a movie. Otherwise we have seen this take on the Middle East countless of times.
Stewart shows promise and I think he is a brilliant man who deserves to make movies if he wants, but hopefully next time he chooses a more interesting story with more things to say.
God Bless America