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Review: The Stoning of Soraya M.

Plays out like a TV movie
By BRETT MICHEL  |  June 25, 2009
1.0 1.0 Stars

VIDEO: The trailer for The Stoning of Soraya M.

Unlike what happened to him in The Passion of the Christ, James Caviezel in this adaptation of a 1994 non-fiction book by Freidoune Sahebjam only hears about a grotesque martyrdom. Sporting a fake (and unnecessary) proboscis, he plays a French-Iranian journalist who listens to the true-ish tale of Soraya (Mozhan Marnò), a housewife who in 1986 was unjustly accused of infidelity, buried up to her waist, and stoned.

Relating these events (along with many others she didn't experience) is Zahra (Shohreh Aghdashloo), the murdered woman's aunt, who's as saintly as Soraya's husband, Ali (Navid Negahban), is villainous. Therein lies much of the problem. Poorly written (with his wife, Betsy) and directed by Nowrasteh, the film is as black-and-white as his scripts for the TV movies The Path to 9/11 and The Day Reagan Was Shot.

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Re: Review: The Stoning of Soraya M.
Wow some people are so cynical. I blame intellectualism just too smartass for your own good. Well having seen this film at the LAFF screening and let me say it is the first film in a longggggggg time that blew me away! Shohreh was a true hero! Anyone who has experienced any form of suffering would stand behind this film and criticize nothing. Stand against injustice! Anyone who has ever been a victim, Go see this film! It brings justice to the victim and sickens the perpetrator! GO SEE THE STONING OF SORAYA M. IT WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU NOT ONLY TREAT PEOPLE BUT THE WAY YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE!! FREE IRAN!!
By Chanta on 06/24/2009 at 4:11:34
Re: Review: The Stoning of Soraya M.
As for this should go out and live a little before you write reviews because your opinion is disgusting and should not be published. Nothing you wrote above can be fathomed by those who know better. See the film and you would be outraged as I am to read this review!!!
By Chanta on 06/24/2009 at 4:20:05
Re: Review: The Stoning of Soraya M.
 Your review is hardly a review at all.  It's more a critique on the filmmaker on the politics.   Check your politics at the door and let the film be what it's truly meant to be about, which, from everything I've seen so far, it's movie about HUMAN RIGHTS and WOMEN'S RIGHTS.  End stoning now!  If Cyrus as black and white as you say he is than at least it's about the brutal murder of women by stoning.  If you can find a gray area in that, then maybe you don't deserve to be writing these kinds of reviews.  Focus on the film and the subject matter.
By bryce413 on 06/24/2009 at 8:55:44
Re: Review: The Stoning of Soraya M.
I was able to see a screener of this movie, and I'm beginning to wonder if the reviewer saw the same film that I did. The only political undertones I got from the film were: stoning sucks. The main message is equal human rights for all, and I doubt people on either side of the political spectrum would argue that stoning is a good thing or that women should be oppressed. The director had a lot of opportunities to blame Islam or Iran, but instead he just shows how a minority of people can become corrupt and do horrible things in the name of religion. I think that the film actually presents a very positive view of Islam, and have read that many Muslims who saw advanced screenings agree. But, I guess this reviewer is right: you shouldn't see this movie. I mean, it's not like stonings are taking place in America, so why should we even care what happens somewhere else?
By Barney1252 on 06/25/2009 at 4:46:18
Re: Review: The Stoning of Soraya M.
Hey, Barney1252, I don't know if you read the same review I did -- I mean, it  WAS over 100 words long. But nowhere does it say anything about "political overtones." And you're right, stoning women sucks. But then, according to the review, so does the movie. Why? Because it is "poorly written and directed" and "black and white." In other words, crude and cliched. But if that's what you like to see when you go to the movies, nobody's telling you not to.
By Peter Keough on 06/25/2009 at 6:00:25
Re: Review: The Stoning of Soraya M.
Of course "The Stoning of Soraya M." is black and white. Lies and murder are always black and white, but so is the beauty of truth and love - even if Brett Michel feigns to be above these facts. See the movie and judge for yourself.
By Open Eyes on 06/27/2009 at 12:23:35

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