Tonight I watched Camp X-Ray.
I had hesitated over watching this movie a couple of times in the past, mainly because of Kristen Stewart, and the topic, her being a prison guard at Guantanamo Bay (not a light topic, so not the movie of choice when you're looking for a comedy, that's for sure).
And having watched it, I'm quite glad I did.
First of all. Kristen Stewart, who's face I previously associated only with the emotionless, bored expressions she wore throughout the Twilight films, has really come into her own. She manages quite the performance in this movie which is centered on he year working at the infamous Gitmo. But rather than making the movie all about the controversy surrounding the detention facility, it instead uses it as a backdrop for a touching story of connection.
Mainly between Stewart and detainee, Ali Amir, played superbly by actor Peyman Moaadi. The scenes between the two, Stewart learns to see through the cell door at a very real human being on the other side, are surprisingly moving. And use of Amir's desire to finally read the 7th Harry Potter book, quickly brings the audience around to his side too. Showing us that whether he may or may not be guilty of crimes or 'terrorism', he's still just a person.
"Two years. Imaging, two years I'm asking you guys to give me this last book. You know what happens at the end of book six? No. I... you know, you know, me, always, always thinking that Snape is a bad guy, okay? Then I was thinking, no, actually, he is not a bad guy... he is the good guy. Then after I read the book six, I don't know what to think now.
You know what? I think you guys don't have the last Harry Potter on purpose. You like to drive us crazy. But I'm not going crazy."
After this first exchange between Stewart and Moaadi, suggesting that giving the detainees the first 6 but not finale book of the Harry Potter series, I was hooked on the movie. And all the while Moaadi taught Stewart to look at him in a new light, I began to look at her in a new light. So perhaps I can stop thinking of her as just the stupid Twilight girl, and maybe as a serious actress.