Rendition (2007) – Political Prisoners & Republicans
“Rendition” was a big jump from the romantic period-piece Meryl movies I’ve been watching recently and I found myself needing to pause my way through it just so I could digest all the action and parallel story lines which were going on. All in all it was a pretty good movie and very thought provoking. It is not for the faint of heart and I recommend skipping it if torture and brutality are too much for your sensibilities. It is more of a guy movie with a few female actresses thrown in there just to maintain some balance.
The September 11th terrorist attack changed the world in so many ways and changes are still being made to stop the terrorist threat. Unfortunately personal privacy has been compromised and simply being born in an unfriendly country is ample reason to be identified as a threat to national security. This movie’s argument revolves around holding and pressuring of suspicious individuals in order to gain intelligence regarding terrorist activities. What it also shows is the unfortunate consequences of holding an innocent man.
In this movie Streep plays a tough CIA director who decides to have a man held based on his Egyptian heritage and some unexplained phone calls he received on his mobile phone. She plays the part as a tough Texan holding a hard line against terrorist activity – sort of like George W. in drag, but much classier and easier on the eyes. Watching her deal with the situation, one can understand her motives – possibly sacrificing a few innocent lives in order to save thousands. It’s a tough decision and one most of us wouldn’t be prepared to make.
This movie definitely has a liberal slant and those taking a hard line in dealing with terrorist control are shown in a bad light for their callous stance. Again, deciding who the bad guys are is really tough and terrorists these days are relentless. In the fight against terrorism innocent people are going to get hurt. If you take into consideration how many people are saved by this method, it’s hard to argue against the numbers. Yeah, we want to be the good guys wearing the white hats and riding off into the sunset after jailing the guys in the black hats. Reality just isn’t that simple.
Streep played her hard-line character in her typical expert fashion. She reminded me of some of the tough women I’ve worked with over the years – they don’t tolerate argument, only compliance. In the male-heavy cast of this movie she was the woman power player. She did it convincingly.
This movie is worth renting for the ethical questions it brings forward. The characters’ stories are also compelling and there is an interesting twist which you will enjoy if you are paying attention.