On January 23, 2002, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is to fly from Karachi to Dubai with his pregnant wife, Mariane, also a reporter. On the day before, with great care, he has arranged an interview in a café with an Islamic fundamentalist cleric. When Danny doesn't return, Mariane initiates a search. Pakistani police, American embassy personnel, and the FBI examine witnesses, phone records, e-mails, and hard drives. Who has him? Where is he? There's also the why: because of U.S. abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo, because of a history of Journal cooperation with the CIA, because Pearl is a Jew? Through it all, Mariane is clearheaded, direct, and determined. Written by
Brad Pitt became inspired to capture Pearl's memoir on screen when he saw her interview on CNN while the search for her husband was going on. See more »
There are a number of computers and gadgets shown, which were
not introduced in early 2002, i.e. HP LaseJet 1320 Printer at Asra's place, HP Color Laserjet shown at the consulate, Acer Notebook used in investigation, and the Nokia 1100 cellphone used by Captain. See more »
The day after 9-11, Danny and I flew to Pakistan. He was the South Asia Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal, and I was working for French Public Radio. Thousands of journalist from all over the world arrived in Islamabad to cover the war in neighboring Afghanistan. On the 7th October, bombing began.
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I was very disappointed after seeing this movie. In theory this could have been a strong, political drama. Instead it became a pointless sequence of rather boring events. The camera is mostly handled in a documentary style. This gives the movie a certain realistic feeling but unfortunately, this does not endorse the story, simply because there is no story, no real plot, no evolution in it. The result is 100 minutes of atmosphere, trying to hide a very weak plot with no layers or subplots. It seems the director never asked himself if watching this film a nice experience. To me it was not.
This film was not able to touch me (the attempt of being emotionally touching was way too obvious), it was not intellectually challenging (the message is simple and mundane), it was never funny and there was no real tension because it was very slow and the film leaves the public absolutely uninformed about the odds for some plot change. Which never comes.
Summarized, this could have been nice as a short movie (30 minutes at max) that shows the story as it is: somewhat tragic, yet uncomplicated. As a viewer, I registered what happened, but the events had no function in the greater whole. They were simply events. Rather irrelevant ones, really. I almost fell asleep and to me it was a waste if time and money.
Sometimes less is more. In this movie, less is just less. You have been warned.
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