Reviewed for Radio Times:
In 2009, a London-based, Iranian-born journalist named Maziar Bahari was wrongly imprisoned while covering the general election in his homeland. Accused of being a spy, he was arrested and placed in solitary confinement for 118 days, during which time he was subjected to various forms of torture. The ordeal he suffered is dramatised in this satirical, thought-provoking political drama, which depicts a battle of wills between Bahari (played by Gael Garcia Bernal) and an ignorant, brutish interrogator (Kim Bodnia).
The scenes between these two are slightly repetitive in nature, but Bernal is highly likeable as the compliant reporter, while Bodnia manages to humanise Bahari’s thuggish captor. In addition, writer-director Jon Stewart (making his debut as a filmmaker) captures the absurdity of the situation in a way that is both sobering and surprisingly humorous. The end result isn’t especially gripping, but it’s a solid piece of work that deserves to be seen.