When one dives into the controversial, it’s unusual to surface so cleanly.

Stewart’s directorial debut is a controlled and poignant spin on an inspirational tale. However, any empathy garnered derives from true events rather than their presentation or quality.

It’s only when Stewart steps outside chronological limits that the film begins to soar. Deep and consistent humour elevates the film to a class above, highlighting Stewarts true directorial talent.

Bernal and Bodnia are affecting in their roles, yet their subtlety often becomes undone by the forced commentary. At times, a picture says more than 1000 words.

There’s little to chastise or critique in Stewart’s debut, with everything notably solid. The humour ameliorates, and the cast are strong, but there’s just too much ordinary to allow for extraordinary.

RATING: 3/5


INFORMATION

CAST: Gael Garcia Bernal, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Kim Bodnia

DIRECTOR: Jon Stewart 

WRITER: Jon Stewart

SYNOPSIS: The true story of journalist, Maziar Bahari, who is detained in Iran for more than 100 days and brutally interrogated in prison.