Wednesday, October 08, 2014

LFF 2014: Camp X-Ray Review

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Director: Peter Sattler
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Peyman Mooadi, Tara Holt, Lane Garrisson 
Running time: 117 minutes
Rating: 18 

Pvt. Cole (Kristen Stewart) is assigned to Guantanamo Bay, while her bravery and eagerness to be the best quickly settles her in in the strange new environment she drifts away from her mission as she befriends the intellectual detainee Ali.

Camp X-Ray does not explore the innocence of Ali (Peyman Mooadi), we are not dealing with deciding who is bad and who is not. It is made clear that they are both good but instead have to deal with maintaining a friendship while being enemies at war. The audience and the two unlikely friends face the age old question of whose fight are we fighting? It shows the struggles of both sides, and the emotional turmoil one goes through regardless of which side you are on.

Kristen Stewart has had a lot of criticism for her acting in the past few years and she has finally found a role which is perfect for the restless leg syndrome, her fidgety eyes and awkward smile, she really has found her style. But while the main focus is on Cole, Mooadi is brilliant as the innocent detainee who gives in to the losing battle. The tone is ominous throughout and it increases as hope falters for both private and detainee. The film is beautifully still as you await the worst to happen.

There is such mundaneness in the story telling and their respective lives that a friendship forms from the boredom of their positions. With its slow pace, wonderful cinematography and intimate acting Camp X-Ray has the promise of being this year's Zero Dark Thirty.

Camp X-Ray is released 17th October 2014. For more London Film Festival coverage keep it Tongue Loose. 

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