Jon Stewart's 'Rosewater' Is Good, But Were We Expecting More?

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Jon Stewart's directorial debut Rosewater premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on Friday (August 27, 2014) and the critics and bloggers were quick off the mark with their reactions. 

RosewaterBernal [L] and Stewart [R] backstage on the set of 'Rosewater'

Based on a real-life incident - which sort of intertwined with Stewart's satirical programme The Daily Show - Rosewater tells the story of Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari (Gael Garcia Bernal) who covered the 2009 elections in his home country for Newsweek before getting detained by the Iranian government following an appearance on Stewart's show. 

More: First look at Jon Stewart's 'Rosewater'

More: For Jon Stewart, the Toronto Film Festival is just another day's work

Stewart famously took time off from his nightly TV show to head to Jordan and film the adaptation of Bahari's account of his horrifying experience, Then They Came For Me. So was it worth it?

"An emotionally accessible but very modest tale of one man's temporary misfortune at the hands of the Iranian government," said Todd McCarthy.

Gael Garcia BernalGael Garcia Bernal plays journalist Maziar Bahari in 'Rosewater'

"Stewart maintains a serenely unsettling tension throughout. Perhaps more impressively, he's made a movie of the moment that doesn't feel like a sententious "issue" drama, and is all the more affecting for it," said Scott Foundas of Variety, "Through Bahari's eyes, and with utmost respect for the Iranian people, "Rosewater" gazes out at a nation flirting perilously with a new era of social liberties, and finds glimmers of hope in the darkness."

".the film understandably sets aside Stewart's trademark barbed humor in a story that needs to be told without mockery or laughs, and it's also more earnest than Stewart's TV fans might expect," said Steve Pond at The Wrap.

More: Is 'Rosewater' the next Argo?


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