Comedic genius. Satirical god. These are just some of the phrases anyone would happily attach to Jon Stewart. Journalist, however, is the one I would associate him with most. Jon has shaped the comedic voice of Television satire, reinvigorating it and provided it with a purpose. Jon is also the embodiment of why Freedom of Speech is the most important aspect of a free and democratic society.
Rosewater has its flaws. There were moments where, millennial that I am, I paused and checked my Twitter feed. However it does deliver its message fantastically, as Jon has become synonymous with doing. It reminds us of that freedom that we take for granted every day, that proper journalists strive and take great risks to practice. Jon, as anyone who watches the Daily Show regularly will tell you, is an admirer of journalism. Just watch his berating of Judith Miller from a couple of weeks ago, it will tell you how much it pains him when the profession is taken advantage of. His staunch respect for the field is well reflected in Rosewater. He shows a deep understanding of the journalistic mind, something that is arguably obligatory for a satirist. He tells us, in the classic Jon way of acting merely as an observer, of the plight of a man wrongly imprisoned for doing his job.
In retrospect what was brilliant was his delivery of the message that oppressors are really the ones tortured even when they commit torture. Kim Bodnia is my favourite actor from Scandinavia, someone I’ve admired ever since Bron/Broen. His performance as the eponymous Rosewater stands out as the means of this message’s delivery. The number of layers he is able to portray, that Jon is able to make him portray, in the film is astounding. While the acting on the whole in the film is good, Kim Bodnia especially does a memorable job.
The film serves as a reminder to us all to not take the freedoms afforded to us by our governments for granted. Use it, and use it wisely. Do not use it to propagate a message that you do not believe in, or one that is borne out of greed. Use it to propagate love, peace and most importantly the truth.