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The Mauritanian; Grade: B+

The Mauritanian tells a story about a scholar named Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim), whom was taken in by the U.S. Government as they accused him of being a suspect during the events taken placed in 9/11. Mohamedou has been fighting for years for his freedom, as years go by, matters have gotten worse for Mohamedou, as he's facing the death penalty. A defense attorney Nancy (Jodie Foster) decides to take on his case, as she'll go through many obstacles in order to give Mohamedou the freedom he rightfully deserves, while also uncovering some haunting details of the treatment done to Mohamedou.

The Cinematography t'was solid, visually looks stunning between the four by four shots and the one ocean nature shot, lovely colors. The Score was solid, I enjoyed the composed music this film has to offer. The cast all in all was solid as a whole. Tahar Rahim playing Mohamedou was pretty damn good, as he’s in a very tight competitive Best Actor in the Drama race for a Golden Globe. Mohamedou came from nothing as he made a name for himself, thanks to working/studying hard on the books, that led him to many opportunities. But unfortunately due to the events of 9/11.... The U.S. Government mistaken Mohamedou for somebody else or just assumed because of his nationality that he had a part in it. We don't feel bad for Mohamedou just because of the unfair treatment that is done to him, we feel bad for Mohamedou because this was an extremely kind intelligent wise gentleman that loved his family and wanted to honor his family by doing the right things. Especially in the scenes where Mohamedou is chatting with a fellow inmate or chatting with a guard, giving him the upmost respect... It's hard to imagine a man this grounded and well respected be treated like an animal.

Jodie Foster playing Nancy was fine, I thought the casting choice was spot on towards the real person behind this character. Nancy had a lot of guts taking on a case that will surely follow a lot of scrutiny, since the case is surrounding one whom is accused of a horrific tragedy done in the US so everyone assumes he's guilty. But Nancy being in this line of work for a long time, stands by her ground, puts full trust in her client through the ups and downs... She's a fighter. I'm not sure why Foster is nominated for a Golden Globe for this role, wasn't outstanding by any means, it's just a fine performance and nothing more than that. Benedict Cumberbatch playing Stuart Couch, the man who is against Mohamedou in this case was pretty damn good, did a terrific job nailing the Southern accent. Stuart at first wants to destroy Mohamedou by all means, as Stuart loss a friend due to the tragedy. However as Stuart unveils the case, as he tries to gather up evidence to go against Mohamedou... Stuart discovers some haunting secrets, that makes him think otherwise. I appreciate Stuart actually doing his job and keeping an open mind, rather than just assume Mohamedou is guilty at all cost by assumptions by his fellow peers and such.

I do have a couple flaws. Some pacing issues, as it took a bit to get this film going. There is also one minor editing choice I wasn't too fond of. This film reminds me of 2019’s The Report, almost the same subject matter regarding wrongful harsh treatment done by those who were made out to be suspects just by assumptions and nothing else. This time it follows a court case, centering around one significant person as we learn about his own experience.

When The Mauritanian does get going, it's honestly a pretty engaging film while also being quite unsettling as well, more so in the third act. Once the third act unveils, revealing as to how Mohamedou came up with a confession that was made by force... It's extremely terrifying to sit through, as it makes you sick to your stomach. It's a riveting experience in which makes you not only appreciate the life you have, but it also could be used to improve your faith. Mohamedou through adversity never once gave up on God and himself, as he knew if he kept pushing forward and gave full trust in faith... Surely he'll be rewarded in the end. The information shown at the end will anger you deeply and also disappoint you as well, it's troubling the lack of empathy and brains those are in power.

Overall, The Mauritanian was a pretty good film. I recommend checking this one out. -Mitch Smietana

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