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6 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Gavin Hood

Written By:
Kelley Sane

Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep, Alan Arkin, Robert Clotworthy, Coco d'Este, Bob Gunton, Lulu, Peter Sarsgaard, J.K. Simmons, Steve Tom, Wade Harlan, Muna Otaru, Lu Johnson, Rosie Malek-Yonan, Aramis Knight, Yigal Naor, Omar Metwally, Christian Martin, Skylar T. Adams, Richard Dorton, David Fabrizio, Christian Martin, Bunnie Rivera, Tim Thomas, Joe Schneider

Rendition (2007)
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Movie Review by Chris
January 24th, 2009

'Rendition' is a very tough film to understand for about the first 20 minutes or so, our introduction to characters is very quick and the plot is utterly confusing. I admit that I kinda lost interest in the film about a half hour in, then we found out who these peolple are and their roles in the movie. The movie mainly focuses on how America treats suspected terrorist, in this case, they have proof that Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally) has accepted a phone call from someone across the world and has given them information on how to make the chemicals in the bombs stronger and deadlier. When you actually get deep down into the movie and look at more then just it's plot, we begin to think about the 9/11 Commision Report and what it states about terrorist, something called rendition.

Basically said, rendition states that anyone who is suspected to be a terrorist by the government, is allowed to be interrogated and sent to prisons outside of the US. In order for them to answer most of the questions they are asked, torture comes in handy, which happens here with Anwar. I found that the film stayed very true to this scenario, and it really helps out the emotional impact I found towards the end. This is all unreasonable, sure Anwar is from Egypt and maybe his skin color is darker then usual, but that doesnt mean he's a terrorist. This is all true though, I have gone through airports and seen men, women and even children pulled aside by police and searched because theyre skin color or even the clothes they wear, they are American citizens and they are saved under the Constitution, so what makes all that reasonable? Sure, we are scared of another attack but that doesnt mean we have to take advantage of other peoples rights.

After a terrorist bombing kills an American envoy in a foreign country. An investigation leads to an Egyptian who has been living in the United States for years and who is married to an American. He is apprehended when he's on his way home. The U.S. sends him to the country where the incident occurs for interrogation which includes torture. An American CIA operative observes the interrogation and is at odds whether to keep it going or to stop it. In the meantime, the man's wife raises hell to find him despite being pregnant but the person behind this refuses to help or give her any information.

Reese Witherspoon plays as Isabella Fields, the wife of Anwar, who was taken because he was suspected of being a terrorist. She loves her husband and has had one son, 6 years old and another up and coming baby on the way. She is pregnant, but this doesnt stop her from doing whatever it takes to find out where her husband is. Most of the general roles I see Reese playing in is comedies, her sarcasm is great and a lot of the time her personality reflects more comedy then anything else. Here she is in a serious drama and her performance is nothing short of excellent, it's the emotion part of it which I think makes her so appaling to watch. Its understandable though because she knows her husband was on the flight, thanks to him purchasing an on-flight item, but for one mysterious reason he never landed. This leads to her beliefs that something has happened and she really wants to know what is going on.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays as Douglas Freeman, who is sent to look over Abasi Fawal and report on what is going on with the suspected terrorist. He is a very complicated character to study, just because we never find out to much about him. We know hes hurt by the death of a fellow agent during the bombing and all that but he's very complicated to study. Jake is a great actor though and the amount of reality he brings to this character is great, he's emotionless throughout and it kind of makes him very interesting from a character point of view. Yigal Naor does a great job as Abasi Fawal and he's really only one of the foreign actors worth pointing out just because its the way he approaches the role which makes him worth watching.

'Rendition' is a hard film to watch, the torture of our characters is both physical and mental which makes more of an emotional impact then anything. It's definitely a movie worth seeing at all costs, but some may find it confusing, which lowers their liking for it. I really enjoyed it, so I reccomend it to anyone who just wants to see a sad story overrun by American politics.

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