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Producers- Benedict Cumberbatch. Leah Klarke, Adam Ackland

Director- Kevin Macdonald

Star Cast- Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim, Shailene Woodley,Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Levie

Genre- Drama


Rating- ***

Jyothi Venkatesh


This movie is based on the 2015 celebrated memoir ‘Guantánamo Diary’ by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a man from Mauritania who was detained at the notorious Guantánamo Bay prison for 14 long years and that too without a trial for being allegedly involved in one of the deadliest terror attacks on America till date, 9/11.

Tahir Rahim literally lives his role as Mohamedou Ould Salahi, a North African man who is arrested in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and shipped off to Guantanamo Bay, for having suspected links to al-Qaeda.

The very opening shot of the film that lingers in your mind and heart long time after you watch it in the beginning is that of a grand feast in Mauritania where all the guests are seen relishing good cuisine and engaged in merrymaking—till the local cops come and take the young Salahi to the police station, who doesn’t return from the US for next 14 years, though he assures his mother that he will be back soon.


‘The Mauritanian’ is a tale about a man who went through gates of hell and emerged victorious, all smiles while preaching the lesson of humanity and forgiveness.

The shocking coercion sequences rendered through psychedelic visual presentation makes you sit on the edge of your seat and feeling very bad for Slahi, who you realise is being tortured for no rhyme or reason altogether

Jodie Foster as lawyer Hollander who bails out Siahi simply stands out as an terrific actress who knows how to get in her character with her own characteristic aplomb while Tahar Rahim’s depiction as a prisoner makes you emotional to the core.


Benedict Cumberbatch wins you over in this venture produced by him in the role of the stern former Navy Man cum prosecutor instantly with his effortless manner of gliding from what he is in real life to the character that he sets out to portray on the screen with aplomb. While Shailene Woodley leaves an impact with her small role.

The Mauritanian is the rare American movie that attempts to indict those responsible for post-9/11 belligerence – it’s a cinematic act of atonement, which has to be seen to be believed.

All said and done, to put it in just in a nutshell, I’d say with candor that the film’s unusual and extraordinary power lies in its direct eye to eye confrontation with the ideology that underpinned it all and is notable, too. Kevin Macdonald deserves a bow