Friday, February 12, 2021

The Mauritarian Review: An Important and Impressive All Star Legal Drama

Tahar Rahim	...	Mohamedou Ould Slahi Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Nezar Alderazi	Nezar Alderazi	...	Ramzi Clayton Boyd	Clayton Boyd	...	Lawyer Francis Chouler	Francis Chouler	...	WSJ Journalist Benedict Cumberbatch	Benedict Cumberbatch	...	Stuart Couch Toni Jean Erasmus	Toni Jean Erasmus	...	Female Guard Arthur Falko	Arthur Falko	...	Guard Jodie Foster	Jodie Foster	...	Nancy Hollander David Fynn	David Fynn	...	Kent Melissa Haiden	Melissa Haiden	...	Kim Couch Evan Hengst	Evan Hengst	...	Pentagon Guard Robert Hobbs	Robert Hobbs	...	Captain Collins Andre Jacobs	Andre Jacobs	...	Judge Robertson Corey Johnson	Corey Johnson	...	Colonel Bill Seidel Bonko Khoza	Bonko Khoza	...	Camp India Minder

Release date: February 12, 2021
Running time: 90 minutes
Starring: Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim, Zachary Levi, Saamer Usmani with Shailene Woodley and Benedict Cumberbatch
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

Based on the NY Times best-selling memoir “Guantánamo Diary” by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, this is inspiring the true story of Slahi’s fight for freedom after being detained and imprisoned without charge by the U.S. Government for years. Alone and afraid, Slahi (Tahar Rahim) finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley) who battle the U.S. government in a fight for justice that tests their commitment to the law and their client at every turn. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by a formidable military prosecutor, Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch), uncovers shocking truths and ultimately proves that the human spirit cannot be locked up.

Adam Ackland	...	producer Michael Bloom	...	executive producer Michael Bronner	...	producer Leah Clarke	...	producer Benedict Cumberbatch	...	producer Rose Garnett	...	executive producer Micah Green	...	executive producer Robert A. Halmi	...	executive producer Ryan Heller	...	executive producer Christine Holder	...	producer Mark Holder	...	producer Zak Kilberg	...	executive producer Beatriz Levin	...	producer Lloyd Levin	...	producer James Joseph McDonald	...	Archive Producer Branwen Prestwood Smith	...	producer Jim Reeve	...	executive producer Donald Sabourin	...	co-producer Mohamedou Ould Salahi	...	co-producer (as Mohamedou Slahi) Larry Siems	...	co-producer Russell Smith	...	executive producer Daniel Steinman	...	executive producer Maria Zuckerman	...	executive producer   Directed by  Kevin Macdonald	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Michael Bronner	...	(screen story) (as M.B. Traven) Michael Bronner	...	(screenplay) (as M.B. Traven) Rory Haines	...	(screenplay) Sohrab Noshirvani	...	(screenplay)
The Mauritanian has a powerhouse cast to tell this powerful story, headlined by Jodie Foster and Shailene Woodley.  But the main character of Mohamedou is portrayed by Tahar Rahim, who does a fantastic job as the complicated character.  He portrays the man as personable but also mistrusting, which is understandable given his predicament.  Foster portrays Mohamedou's lawyer perfectly as well, as a strong willed individual that will do what it takes to get the right result.  And Woolery is likewise wonderful as you would expect, another strong lawyer in this complicated fight for justice.  And Cumberbatch, although playing a more muted role than I am used to seeing for him, is amazing as Lt. Colonel Couch, a conflicted key character in this story.

Your love of drama and stomach for legal proceedings will determine whether you like this film.  I absolutely loved it but this is right up my wheelhouse.  I thought that the legal wranglings and difficulty of getting justice were portrayed well, as was the complicated personal and political situation of Guantanemo.  And I very much appreciated the movie's slow pace as it made it easier to enjoy the fantastic cast.  And what a cast!  This film really pulls together a who's who of A-list actors to tell this story.  The writing is sharp and understated, like much of this film.  It is not going to blow you away, but rather tell an important story about justice delayed and the overreach that can happen in times of fear. 

And the overall story is what is important about this film.  The injustices that happened to Mohamedou are not unique and are important to tell the general public.  But the film also does a great job with the little details, such as some of Mohamedou's hesitancy to trust his lawyers and the very human difficulty he had during his testimony.  These little details make this world feel real and help greatly to make this man feel like a person rather than a Hollywood character.  And these touches are crucial when telling a true story, one that is both impressive, infuriating, and important.

The Mauritarian tells an impressive and important story of justice delayed with an all star cast and plenty of legal and political drama!

Watch it.
Guantanemo Detainee Detained Prisoner Prison

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The Mauritanian is available in theaters on Friday, February 12, 2021.  
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