VOD REVIEW: Mauritanian a brutal, late awards-season contender

Based on an absolutely heartbreaking true story, The Mauritanian follows the unlawful detention of Mohamedou Quid Salahi, who is believed to be a member of Al Queda.

As those within the justice system and government blindly try to push for prosecution post-9/11, this film shows the brutal techniques of torture used at Guantánamo Bay, and this prisoner’s life behind bars.

He’s fighting for his freedom with the help of a defence attorney known for crusading against the government, and his battle is years-long. When we come upon Salahi, he’s not been charged for a crime, but the government is steadfast in believing his ties with Bin Laden.

French actor Tahar Rahim gives career-best work here, and he’s joined by Jodie Foster — coming off a Golden Globe win for her role as his attorney. Benedict Cumberbatch, Shailene Woodley and Zachary Levi co-star, but the film belongs to Foster and Rahim.

It’s a political tour-de-force, and an unbelievable film. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it had a late Oscars surge, and it’d be well-deserved.

4/5 Stars

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