WEIRDLAND: "Rendition" Screening in Toronto

Saturday, September 08, 2007

"Rendition" Screening in Toronto

September 7 - Arriving at the 'Rendition' Press Conference.8 September, Rendtion: Toronto Film Festival Screening.
Pictures by

RENDITION - World premiere at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto

6:30 pm, 7/11 TIFF 2007 Rattler’s Thoughts

"There is a certain point in Rendition when a haunting image will strike you. As the good battles despair, the bad seeks glory and the ugly raises its hydra-heads, Douglas stands and watches. He turns, as shadows on his face coagulate; and suddenly the light balances the dark. You notice the sadness within the blue, and the rest just turns into mundane. It is this simple sense of grief that will permeate through the rest of the film, linger while the note on the flute turns into whisper, gradually seeping into your heart. You realize that this sadness is meant to be universal; for the derivative emotions invoked will just depend on who is watching the film. A rapid chill will run through every immigrant’s heart, some will polarize into red and blue, some may just shake their heads, while quite a few will be glad that Arar received a settlement.

“This is my first torture”, you will hear Douglas say. You will laugh at the wordplay, and will be sad again. And this, indeed, is Gavin Hood’s coup the grace. He has done his homework well, and uses Morocco and Washington deftly, like an artist mingling two colors on her palette. Two cities and two cultures contradict and contrast each other, but in the end turn into shades of gray. He develops characters with both naiveté and brilliance. Some are stereotypes – Meryl Streep scorches, Alan Arkin slithers, while Peter Sarsgaard’s empathy soothes Reese Witherspoon’s despair. But it is the brilliance of Omar Metwally, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Yigal Naor that will mesmerize you. Three sets of eyes will cut your attention into three equal parts.

The plot is well-known, so there is no point going there. The plot twist is not novel; you have seen time wrapping up into one, and space splitting into two. Wong Kar-wai, Alejandro Iñárritu, and Chris Nolan have been there, done that. But what Gavin Hood offers is a poignant point of inflexion. Moral polarities neutralize amidst blood and gore. It is also at this point that the broken pieces of Douglas simply glue up. There is just one thing that irks you in the end – every sub-plot has a conclusion except one. Is there a hidden message after all? Perhaps hope is not supposed to end.

Rendition, like any other film that deals with moral issues, treads on thin ice. You always wonder – what is right and what is wrong? The answer could be simple – embedded within a name. While Metwally scintillates, that name belongs to Jake Gyllenhaal.

If Rendition does not win an Oscar, you will hear Rattler’s sigh for sure". Source:

And read the funny and educated encounter between Prophecy Girl from Jake Watch and Jake "in person" (and with Peter Sarsgaard too) HERE!.


gr77 said...

I don't like his look in Toronto.The suit is great but his hair is too short and his beard is too long, he looks like that crazy Iranian president :p
Reese looks lovely though,she looks more beautiful than ever.

Very nice review of Rendition,Kendra.
I have read very positive and a few negative reviews for this film,I guess it's a love it or hate it kind of film

Wicked said...

Kendra, Rattler's review was e-mailed exclusively by the author to the Oh My Godot website. If you want to use it, that's fine, but please give the proper credit.

Kendra said...

Sorry, Wicked, I forgot to add the link to your site, excuse my mistake, thanks a lot for giving me your permission to post this exclusive review, and welcome to Weirdland!

Chris said...

Jake gave a very odd interview to Entertainment Weekly about Rendition in which he appeared to think that torturing people might be okay. It was the same kind of crap he gave out after Jarhead where he seemed to be half in favor of militarism. I think Jake tries to please all sides of an issue if he thinks it will be better for him professionally to do so. Odd moral ambiguity there in Jake. Or maybe he just panders when he thinks pandering will advance his career.

gr77 said...

Jake didn't say that Chris.You have completely misunderstood him

Kendra said...

Well, Chris, I've read the EW interview and I think maybe Jake always goes a bit pushed by his guts or very emotional reactive answers in his interviews, i.e. "It's my favorite line in the movie: ''This is my first torture'. That may have been why I did the movie, that line". sounds very non PC occurence, but it's possible he wanted to lessen the tone of a very serious/crude matter. I understand some people could misread it as insensitive, but in his Jarhead's tour de press he could be ambiguous as well as many average moviegoers are about the military forces too. And let's not forget Jake's ambiguity circa "BBM" when he was questioned about gay relationships.