As Jodie Foster took a surprise Best Actress award for The Mauritanian at the Golden Globes in 2021 here is the review on the story of injustice with strong acting.
The Maurtitanian, based on the NY Times best-selling 2015 memoir “Guantánamo Diary” by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, is a true story, directed by Kevin Macdonald of a fight for freedom after Slahi was imprisoned following 9/11 without ever being charged by the U.S. Government.
The acting is the highlight of the movie and French actor Tahar Rahim stands out as well as Foster. The script and film is good not great. It does a good job of setting the GitMo scene and taking what feels like behind the scenes. It doesn't get us in its tight grip though and does not humanize it to a point that your emotions are clasped but it's still good and is gripping in a calm way. (You just keep saying, "boy this could be amazing" because it had all the makings of hitting it out of the ballpark.) I still enjoyed it and you can't take your eyes off the screen with these strong performances.
Slahi played by Rahim gets defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley) assigned to him and she does the job pro bono in 2005. They go up against the government to get him freed in this true-story. Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch) uncovers the truth and proves that Slahi should be freed.
It was an arrest without charges ever being laid. Slahi was shipped straight to US detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba because the U.S. government thought he was part of Al-Qaeda and he had answered Osama Bin Laden’s satellite phone. He stayed in GitMo for 14 long years without trial or even charges and was tortured until defense attorney Hollander and Duncan took the case.
The movie is from Slahi’s memoir which became a best seller worldwide. It’s good because of Rahim is the star of this effort. Foster is in it Woodley is always interesting. Rahim is Slahi - conveying torture, humiliation and intense pain and misery.
Foster and Woodley are good and we love watching them but we wanted so much more that the script did not allow for. The movie could have been better. By the end of it - you wish it would go on longer but more of the mystery (not more torture, that we get enough of.) You want this movie to be so good. It's a grueling true-life story that Rahim is wonderful in with one of the top performances of the year.
All in all, good - just could have been so much incredible. (but still see it 😉