Camp X-Ray (2014) – Review
The movie is about a young soldier whose very first assignment is to be a guard at a detention facility in Guantanamo Bay. They (the soldiers) are told that their job is not to make sure that the detainees don’t break out, but instead, it is to keep the detainees alive.
Initially, the soldier Amy Cole (portrayed by Kristen Stewart) is met with cold behavior, hatred, violence from the detainees at the detention camp, but later on she learns and manages to survive. In the process she develops an unusual bonding with one of the detainees who had been there for 8 years. The detainee Ali Amir (portrayed by Peyman Moaadi) treats Amy with hostility in all the inhumane ways possible; but later on grows fond of talking to her, and at times manages to find humor in serious situations!
In the end, it turned out to be a learning experience for both of them. Apart from having a political and controversial situation as a backdrop, the movie gives a beautiful message about humanity. As an audience, we get to see both sides of the prison and get a chance to understand what they go through (both detainees and soldiers/guards).
My view: It’s so easy to end your life and get rid of all the problems at once. But it’s so so difficult to give someone a reason to live, when there is none. It takes courage; to do what Amy (Kristen) did in the movie. You need a heart to feel the pain of another especially when that other person is supposed to be your “enemy”. Having empathy for a person, for whom you can never even begin to imagine what he has gone through, is tougher than it looks. The act of kindness, the words spoken, that scene in the end, the final conversation between the soldier and the detainee – just amazing. When a young person shows such maturity in such a situation where even most experienced people might panic, that’s commendable. When such words are spoken from heart, it only restores your faith in humanity once again. You just have to see it to feel it.
Both Kristen and Peyman did justice to their roles and the storyline. And guys, please give Kristen a break! Stop saying she just has one expression. It’s not her fault! She takes such kind of roles, what can be done!! On the contrary, this performance ought to change the way most people look at her – from the girl-next-door to a serious actor. Also, the first time director Peter Sattler has done a brilliant job. Couldn’t tell it was his directorial debut.
Worth a watch. 7.5 out of 10.