Gael García Bernal manages to choose roles which have something to say about the world, often political, and frequently featuring real people or events (I’m thinking No, ¿Quién es Dayani Cristal? or También la Lluvia, for example).
Here again, he plays British-based Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, arrested for ‘espionage’ while covering Iranian presidential elections in 2009. We stay with Bahari during his 118 day incarceration and interrogation, as he finds ways to relieve boredom and maintain hope of release. The interrogations are not as brutal as you might expect, and there are times when it’s actually quite amusing.
Naturally it’s stifling as we are inside with Bahari, but those few moments of fresh air, sunlight and hope are really uplifting.
It’s a competent, fairly interesting directorial debut from Jon Stewart, but perhaps a little too careful with the material.