Under baked dramatically and sometimes cloyingly directed for emotional response that fails. The amateurish direction hurts what should have been a compelling tale about Maziar Bahari with some interesting touches that get over shadowed by the silliness of spirits and dancing to Leonard Cohen music. Stewart may be a biting political commentator that doesn't make him a director.
For a movie targeted to the mainstream public it's ok, and Gael Garcia Bernal is great as usual. But wouldn't it be more fitting for an iranian-canadian to be played by.... I don't know.... an iranian actor?
really good. gripping and moving. gael garcia bernal is stupendous. i can see how some parts were sentimentalized and glossed over with emotionality, which is certainly a hazard of any picture based upon real controversial events. with that in mind stewart did a good job of balancing the story while still getting the punchy points across.
At times the Iranian "specialist" is made out to be a complete fool, which I think is a cheap laugh. But ultimately it's important to see more of Iran in American cinema, and it's not as Iran 101 as Argo, so at least it has something going for it.
A nice effort, but not without shortcomings. The film tries to use Bahari's experience as a universal example of repressed journalism, but the lack of Iranian actors and emphasis on the brutality of the Iranian government make it seem more like a propaganda piece. If you are really interested in this topic, I suggest you skip the film and read Bahari's book instead.
An interesting true story kept afloat nicely by the great Garcia Bernal, with amateurish debut directing by Jon Stewart, who tried a few different things (perhaps to try and stand out with his first attempt behind the camera) that I felt failed.