Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Rossiter Drake*
Feature Presentation: Dismissed as heavy-handed by many of the same critics who praised the overblown melodrama of Babel, Rendition is political without being preachy, even-handed but forceful in its critique of America’s practice of abducting suspected terrorists and imprisoning them without due process on foreign soil. Meryl Streep plays a Machiavellian conservative whose response to a terrorist attack is less evil than coldly ill-conceived; she orchestrates the kidnapping of an Egyptian-born engineer (Omar Metwally) even as his pregnant and increasingly distraught wife (Reese Witherspoon) searches for answers. The film unfolds brilliantly and methodically, as director Gavid Hood’s vivid characters are unwittingly drawn together, reluctant partners in a game where violence is inflicted upon the innocent, all in the name of preserving peace.
Bonus Materials: Outlawed, a documentary about secretly detained prisoners and the torture they endure, provides a fitting companion piece for the film and a heartbreaking tribute to those affected. Meanwhile, Hood’s outtakes are uncommonly compelling, key to a more thorough understanding of characters whose humanity is sometimes masked by the violent nature of their work.