Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

17 June 2008

Rendition, dir. Gavin Hood (2007)

NIKKI says:
As depressing and harsh as it was -- I liked it. It's not an easy movie to watch. It's one of those two-hour experiences where all you're thinking about is how cruel the world is. Still, it's well done. It's visually impressive, the acting is first-rate, and the twisting plot is engrossing and suspenseful. It's not purely a film that reminds you how America abuses its power, it's also a thriller about the people who get caught up in that abuse.

Anwar El-Ibrahimi is a chemicals expert who is detained when deboarding a plane from South Africa. He is suspected of aiding a terrorist who killed an American operative. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Freeman, a CIA analyst who is instructed to oversee the interrogation of Anwar, and who comes to believe Anwar is telling the truth that he is not involved. Meanwhile, Anwar's wife pregnant Isabella is desperate to know where Anwar is, and enlists a Washington DC councilman to help her out.

So, from there it's all about uncovering the mystery of Anwar's disappearance and exposing the lies and cover-ups that go along with extraordinary rendition, the practice of moving terror suspects from one country to another without proper procedure for the purposes of interrogation.

I thought it was a good movie. It didn't seem to chest-thump as much as other movies like it, and that probably had something to do with it being about the people as much as the politics. You really felt for these characters, and what they were dealing with. And the movie did well to show the other side of the issue with an element of the plot told from the perspectives of the suicide bombers. I don't know how accurate it all was, or how truthful, but as a movie, it definitely entertained me.

I was really struck, too, by the scene in which Isabella's water breaks. She is walking through a big, glass building, and we see her in silhouette. The Capitol Building rises up along the horizon behind her. A brilliant shot, filled with purpose, but classy, I thought, rather than grandiose. Much like the film itself.


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