2009-01-19 10:32
What it's about:

A suicide bomber kills an American CIA operative in North Africa, suddenly affecting several otherwise-unrelated lives. First, chemical engineer and US citizen Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally) is abducted and rendered to an unknown country to be tortured by prison head Abasi Fawal (Igal Naor), who is himself searching for his missing daughter. Witnessing the torture, CIA analyst Douglas Freeman (Jake Gyllenhaal) struggles to come to terms with the "information extraction methods" commissioned by the CIA's head of terrorism Corrinne Whitman (Meryl Streep). Meanwhile, Anwar's pregnant wife Isabella El-Ibrahimi (Reese Witherspoon) enlists the help of her politically-connected friend Alan Smith (Peter Sarsgaard) in the search for her missing husband.

What we thought of it:

Not many films explore what it's like to walk the tightrope between right and wrong and avoid being labeled preachy. Rendition asks uncomfortable questions: How far is far enough? And how justifiable are the methods of dealing out "justice"?

Having lived through rare political situations, director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) has gained a particular sensitivity towards this politically and emotionally charged script. Superb direction by the Oscar winning South African allows you to witness "necessary" evils from both sides of the East and West fence without blurring the moral lines between right and wrong.

Hood brilliantly knits together several distinct stories, allowing each to develop its individual subplot yet perfectly balancing the significance of each without an unfair bias towards any particular thread.

The cast members are each compelling in their own roles. Reese Witherspoon epitomizes the all-American girl next door, confused and distraught about her country's actions, while Meryl Streep's demeanour perfectly encapsulates the seemingly callous patriotism of those 'in charge'. Omar Metwally unearths extraordinarily raw emotion, while Jake Gyllenhaal's stab at ambivalence isn't half bad.

In the end, Rendition is a moving film that is sure to shake up dinner table debates and force you examine which North your moral compass points to.

- Megan Kakora
Superb direction by the Oscar winning Gavin Hood allows you to witness "necessary" evils from both sides of the East and West fence without blurring the moral lines between right and wrong.

* Rendition – The capture of suspected terrorists by the United States government, and their removal to countries where the torture, rape, and/or prisoner abuse are legally permitted or overlooked [Wiktionary

Fonz 2007/11/30 1:45 PM
Go Gavin Go Great to see homegrown talent working on the big stage. Hope for all the best from him. Go Gavin go!!!!
seen one, seen them all 2007/11/30 2:31 PM
Just another anti-western movie After this one, there is just one more anti-American movie to go this season. Hang in there!
yekokooo 2007/11/30 10:46 PM
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