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Not just a news story
on 31 January 2008
This long drawn out docu-drama is probably not to everyone's taste, but will satisfy those tired of Hollywood's usual fodder. It is an intriguing account of the search for journalist Daniel Pearl after his abduction in Pakistan in 2002.
Angelina Jolie gives a capable performance as Mariane Pearl as she moves from hope to despair and Irfan Khan is impressive as the police captain leading the investigation. Archie Panjabi also provides good support as an Indian journalist out of place in a hostile Pakistan. The scene where the police captain interviews Sheikh Omar (played by the excellent Aly Khan) provides a small, but important insight into the callousness of religious extremism.
Understated acting combined with natural dialogues give this film an authenticity that ultimately makes for some uncomfortable viewing. There is no political point scoring or moralising and this reinforces the senselessness of Danny Pearl's gruesome murder, which thankfully we are spared from witnessing.