The story of a young graduate who wants to become a hot-shot journalist, receives the advice
“you wanna make it as some big-swinging dick journalist, you gotta go somewhere fucking crazy”
and goes to Somalia to learn and write about pirates is fascinating, not least because it’s the true story of Canadian journalist Jay Bahadur.
Sadly though, the movie The Pirates of Somalia distorts this feat of reporting into an unrealistic (TV stations admitting on air that they have absolutely no sources? the Canadian journalist having a flirtatious affair with the drug-dealing wife of the pirate mastermind?) slapstick film, with Evan Peters playing a buffoon character out of a high-school comedy. Each time he pleads how important it is that the world learns what is happening in Somalia, one wonders why the much more competent Somali journalists can’t do that job.
The stupid dream scenes, some of them in Quentin-Tarantino-rip-off manga style, discredit the film completely.
After the movie, I watched an interview with Jay Bahadur to see if he was really as clueless and dim as portrayed by Evan Peters, and – no surprise – he isn’t:
The smartest thing is probably to read Mr Bahadur’s book The Pirates of Somalia: Inside their Hidden World and remember that not all books need to be turned into films.