6.8/10
1,180
40 user 34 critic

The War Within (2005)

A Pakistani involved in a planned attack in New York City experiences a crisis of conscience.

Director:

Joseph Castelo
6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ayad Akhtar ... Hassan
Firdous Bamji ... Sayeed Choudhury
Nandana Sen ... Duri Choudhury
Sarita Choudhury ... Farida S. Choudhury
Charles Daniel Sandoval ... Khalid
Varun Sriram Varun Sriram ... Ali S. Choudhury
Anjeli Chapman Anjeli Chapman ... Rasheeda S. Choudhury
John Ventimiglia ... Gabe
Michael McGlone ... Mike O'Reilly (as Mike McGlone)
Aasif Mandvi ... Abdul
Ajay Naidu ... Naved
Kamal Marayati ... Imam
Wayman Ezell Wayman Ezell ... Izzy
James Rana ... Saudi Man
Christopher Castelo Christopher Castelo ... Steven
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Storyline

Sayeed Choudhury was born Pakistan but has immigrated to the U.S.A., where he now lives in New York with his wife, Farida; a school-going daughter, Rasheeda; a school-going son, Ali; and unmarried sister, Duri. One morning Farida hears a knock on the door, Ali opens it and there is Sayeed's childhood friend, Hassan, who is welcomed with open arms by the family. Hassan informs them that he is going to be hired soon in the States and he is invited to spend a few days with the Choudhury family. Duri, who has a Caucasian boyfriend, Mike, is also thrilled to meet Hassan and openly shows her attraction to him. Ali also takes an instant liking to Hassan, and is taught the true values of Islam, and when one Muslim hurts, then the pain is felt by Muslims worldwide. Sayeed is quite content with the American way of life and feels secure and comfortable especially when he sees Germans, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, and non-believers living in harmony and doing business with each other. Sayeed will ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent images, some language and nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Over the Mountains See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,540, 2 October 2005

Gross USA:

$74,655

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$74,655
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in 2006 Independent Spirit Awards (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Circumspect Analysis of the Terrorist Mind -- With Some Caveats
10 October 2005 | by taite-1See all my reviews

This is not a date movie! This is deep, heady stuff meant for those times when you want a psychological thriller. It confronts one of our worst demons in a truly "fair and balanced" way except for one glaring exception I note in the next paragraph. It doesn't matter if you're an Al Qaeda member, a blue-state commie or a red state right-winger, you will probably think that the writers tried to put as much truth as they could pack into a 2 hour film. In the end, you gain better perspective on the mind of a terrorist without being burdened with a lot of Fox News like canards (e.g., "terrorists want to take our freedom"). The movie shows that the victims are often other Moslems taken in by friends, not just white Americans.

There are several reasons I couldn't give it a 10. The cinematography is only a bit better than amateur in several scenes. The aerial shots are hurky-jerky. The main character is obviously not a seasoned actor -- although he does return a decent performance. But, beyond that, I felt (and this is an opinion as a Westerner obviously) that the writers seem to imply that somehow America itself is to blame for the metamorphoses in the minds of these radicals. More specifically, the main character is portrayed as if he has become a monster because of the axis formed by US law enforcement and corrupt Middle Eastern governments. Take a person like John Walker Lindh as a counterexample. He grew up in a good home never beaten by police or subjected to torture and born to good parents and he still ended up fighting against "infidels." I think the writers should have been more thoughtful in this respect since terrorists aren't always made by American policy. Bin Laden is a rich Saudi with a good college education. He wasn't beaten or mistreated (at least not prior to becoming a terrorist). I think the writers should have at least explored how these mosques plant seeds of hate in the minds of good people although this film doesn't touch that with a 10 foot pole. And they didn't for reasons which were probably related to the political correctness of our times. But again, I speak as a Westerner who thinks that these madrasses are part of the problem. The film does a very good job in many other respects of getting into the heads of these guys.

Ralph


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