After a terrorist bombing kills an American envoy in a foreign country, an investigation leads to an Egyptian who has been living in the United States for years and who is married to an American. He is apprehended when he’s on his way home. The U.S. sends him to the country where the incident occurs for interrogation, which includes torture. An American C.I.A. operative observes the interrogation and is at odds whether to keep it going or to stop it. In the meantime, the man’s wife raises hell to find him, but the person behind this refuses to help or give her any information.
User Reviews: "I fear you speak upon the rack, where men enforced do speak anything." This Shakespearean line from The Merchant of Venice is echoed again in the new film Rendition which introduces the viewer to the "enhanced methods of interrogation", renditions, which began in the Clinton Administration and have become more commonplace since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
The film features an all-star cast, with Oscar winners Meryl Streep, Alan Arkin, and Reese Witherspoon, as well as Peter Sarsgaard, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Omar Metwally. Supporting roles filled by unfamiliar actors deliver as well, sucking the audience into the plot, and showing how many people can be affected by overseas terror attacks, and our means of investigating them.
Rendition follows an Egyptian born terrorism suspect (Metwally) who is taken by U.S. officials following his flight from South Africa to Washington DC to an undisclosed prison overseas. His pregnant wife (Witherspoon) ventures to Washington DC to find out about his disappearance through a family friend and Senator’s employee (Sarsgaard). Gyllenhaal plays a young CIA analyst at the overseas detention facility who monitors the violent interrogation.
This film follows the emotional plights of the torture victim (Metwally), and those involved in obtaining the supposed information from him. Some, like the CIA analyst (Gyllenhaal), are visibly shaken and horrified by the methods exercised, while others, the stern Senator (Streep) and foreign interrogator (Yigal Naor), see it as necessary and effective.
The film may be described by some as a political piece, but is ultimately an emotional one. Metwally’s performance as the tortured prisoner is Oscar-worthy. The film does not intend to preach, but rather to question and inform the audience on a topic that does not often have a human face put on it. Renditions have been known to work, but have also been known to produce false information from innocent prisoners. The film simply depicts the emotional struggles of those involved in such grave business, and does so in a way that will affect every viewer differently. The film will keep your interest, and have you engaged in each of the character’s plights.