Browsing "film/tv reviews"
Oct 28, 2007 - film/tv reviews    Comments Off

Movie Review of Rendition


Starring Omar Metwally, Reese Whitherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep

We went to see this movie tonight at our main cineplex. It was in one of the smaller theaters but it was packed, mostly with older people. The film is the story of an Egyptian man (Metwally) married to an American woman (Reese) who is taken off a plane and not seen since. Another case of “extraordinary rendition” where the United States government covertly detains people in the name of “national security” and secretly deports them to other countries to be interrogated and tortured. The movie twines around the story of what he undergoes, his wife’s fight to try to find him, the American agent’s involvement and his superiors, and the torturer’s own family troubles.

The plot is well developed and extremely sophisticated. I could see parallels to two real lives straight from the headlines; that of Maher Arar, the Canadian that was moved covertly to Syria for torture when he stopped in the US for a layover, and Mohammed Haneef, the Australian doctor accused of links with terror, both found innocent.  I don’t want to say too much about the story because I feel that everyone should go see this movie, Muslim or non-Muslim, American or citizen of the world. In fact everyone NEEDS to see this movie.

I think this movie is amazing for many reasons. First, that it is a mainstream movie shown in regular theaters with star actors. Second, it shows the victims of extraordinary rendition as truly human victims instead of the usual propaganda machine that taints them as terrorists first, and humans last, or never. Third, it showed what the usual methods of torture are quite clearly. Many Americans may have seen a few of the pictures of Abu Ghuraib but nothing like this. Fourth, they showed that suicide bombers were not filthy animals who just want to kill for their 72 virgins or whatever. There are reasons behind what they do. And fifth, this movie showed how those who want to use the suicide bombers, exploit these reasons as well.

Being a Muslim, I thought I would be more disturbed by this movie or wish I hadn’t seen it. But I’m not. I want to see it again for the subtle nuances. I am more hopeful actually, because I pray that a lot more people see it and that it, first and foremost, touches their conscious and their hearts.

I recommend this movie for everyone to watch. A warning to Muslims though, there are some intimate scenes (for some reason they always have to put these in!) and there are scenes of nude men being tortured.

Watch it in the theater. The experience will be completely different from watching it on your TV in your home later on.

I give it ***** 5 stars out of 5.

Spoilers Below

I loved how he had no accent.

But no doubt there are some messed up things in the movie such as the whole ‘suicide bomber meeting’ that looks like someone going into a mosque, complete with taking off the shoes, saying salaam and sitting on carpets in front of an imam, listening to a khutbah and then yelling takbir again and again. (I thought the khutbah was very well done with the usual propoganda terrorists use, couched in ‘islamic terms’ (but wonder if non-muslims would recognize this) and wondered if they took it straight from some alqaeda video.)  They also show some of the usual “jihadist” type images. But I THANK GOD for two things… not spouting any of that 72 virgins rhetoric and not showing them praying.

I also wish they had showed a little more happiness between the couple in the beginning, like a hug or a kiss or some type of affection. And when Reese says “you knew him” I wish she had said something like “we all went to college together, you knew him.”

I also thought during the movie that Meryl should have been a guy, those military type of guys that are the ones that perpetrate these crimes, but I do think she conveyed quite clearly the ‘status quo’ line of the gov’t.

Hmm and the mother.. I mean what was the point of having her in the movie, the least she could have done is have tears in her eyes and say to Reese “how can you say that, how can you even think it!” and be extremely upset.

Still those are tiny tiny things compared to the whole objective of the film.

Jan 8, 2007 - film/tv reviews    Comments Off

North and South (2004)

Film: North and South (2004)
length: 4 hours

Ok so just watched this…. it was amazing…….one of those period pieces where you are just swept away by the drama. It’s the story of Margaret Hale a young woman who is forced to move to a northern industrial town around the time of the industrial revolution. There she meets factory owner John Thornton and befriends the workers. It’s really a very dark sort of story that gets into the lives of all the people of the town and all their problems.

I really never thought there would be a hero as great as Mr. Darcy but Thornton as the dark and brooding hero is like amazing. Oh and you’ll cry a lot I certainly did! I have to get the book!! Guys won’t like it I think unless they’re like really British Wink Anyways if you liked pride & prejudice this doesn’t have that sparkling light quality of jane austen, and the heroine is not as likeable as lizzie, but it’s definitely great to watch! [thumb]

Cheers Smiley  Bebzi

What’s with the fascination w/ Mr. darcy?

salam, so lots of bros ask me this so i decided to write a post to help them out.

Why is Pride and Prejudice so fascinating?

ok brothers let me ‘splain u …….. (as azhar usman says :-/ )


basically the story is about a family of 5 girls set around 19th century england. so the mother is of course desperately trying to marry them off. two really wealthy guys *just happen to* show up in their neighborhood. so the first one falls in love with the eldest girl, and the other one at first does not like the second sister but over the course of the movie ends up falling in love with her and she with him. and there’s some sub-plots and some adventures but thats basically what its about

so why do girls love it?

  • - every muslim girl has a mother who desperately wants to marry her off
  • - who wouldn’t want a rich, intelligent guy to fall in love with her
  • - who hasn’t had a proposal from a freak cousin/mr. collins type
  • - we all want to wear the pretty dresses in the movie
  • - who hasn’t been brushed off by some guy cause they are at first ‘not pretty enough’
  • - and of course who doesn’t love a happy ending

so i hope you now understand.

and don’t be jealous of mr darcy… for you married brothers i’m sure for your wives you are the mr darcy!! :)

Now let me ‘splain u why Mr. darcy is so special:

when he first meets elizabeth he thinks she is plain (an 18th century word for not pretty) and beneath him in terms of rank and family, so he completely disses her. over the course of the book/movie he starts to learn more about her and he realizes that she is witty, intelligent and has a lot of other nice qualities. these qualities make her seem more attractive to him, but still he thinks her family is messed up and thinks it’s crazy for them to get together because he’s so much more wealthier and what will ppl say etc. but he thinks it over and feels that he’s willing to sacrifice and let elizabeth marry him. but when he proposes, she totally rejects him because he’s always been so arrogant and mean, and of course he tried to break up her sister and his friend!

over time he realizes what he’s done and comes to accept that he loves elizabeth and that his ‘prejudices’ were wrong and that his ‘pride’ led him wrong. elizabeth too realizes her prejudices/pride etc. then they meet again and blah blah . happy ending.

but the point is… he only saw the outward at first, but then he ends up loving her for her real self…and doesn’t everyone want to be loved for herself/himself despite having maybe negative things in looks, family, wealth etc. in the end darcy shows true character and nobility by doing that. isn’t that beautiful, ma’shallah?! :D

Abu Hurayrah related that the Prophet (saw) said:

Men marry women for four reasons: their money, their status in society, their beauty and their religion. If you marry one who is superior in religion, then you will be [happy and] successful. (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim)