FILM REVIEW | THE MAURITANIAN

The Mauritanian is an adaptation of the novel named "Gutanamo Diary" written by the movies lead protagonist, Mohamedou Ould Salah. If you are unaware of his story, then do not read up on it and go into the movie blind. As, The Mauritanian gives a fantastic rendition of truly one of the most shocking and heartbreaking stories of the 21st Century.





Written by Joe Brown

The movie tells the story of a man, who is suspected of being a terrorist during 9/11 and has been imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay for six years. Through his story, a defence attorney, her associate and a military prosecutor, uncover one of the most brutal and horrifying conspiracy theories to be leaked out of the US Army.


Firstly, the movie has a plethora of amazing performances but the clear stand outs were Tahar Rahim and Jodie Foster. The chemistry built between these two actors and their characters, had me on the edge of my seat throughout. Rahim allows us to consistently empathise with his situation, making you feel angry with what he has had to deal with. There is also a court room scene where he delivers one of the most powerful monologues in any movie this year. Jodie Foster can just do no wrong as she is fantastic. Playing the role with great maturity and any scene when these characters are conversing with one another was riveting. Unfortunately, Benedict Cumberbatch was seriously mis-cast in his role and this was the only performance that did not sit well.

The movies screenplay and dialogue was superb, as the film is a very talk heavy. It was vital that the screenplay was strong to keep the audience engaged, which it certainly does. However, there are pacing issues and at times the movie felt convoluted in its expression of events. It could have benefitted from a clearer structure, but this is only a minor nit pick of the movie. It is a slow build but from the second act the film never lets up and is a tremendous thriller.


Where The Mauritanian's strengths lie, are in its stance towards this courtroom and civil battle, letting its feelings be know of how the US government are treating prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. This is fully appreciated and certainly as audience, we can understand this take because of what happens to the characters.


A thoroughly impressive, dialogue driven movie, that manages to keep you engaged and focused throughout the run time. The movie continues to be shocking right until the end and you you may come out of the film with a totally different opinion of certain themes and subjects.