Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Charlie Wilson’s War

Here we have another war story that perhaps will stir some controversy with international viewers and maybe not so much among American viewers. Have to say that is very different to Lions for Lambs, as this one for me was scary, very scary! Not a thriller, not a horror or ghost story, this real life and true story (with very little artistic licenses) biopic just tells Mike Nichols vision of how the USA entered war in the Middle East. Then with the recent assassination of Benazir Bhutto the story in this movie could help many to understand what her death could mean to the area and unfortunately to the rest of the world.

Based on journalist George Crile book the film tells about colorful congressman Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks) covert dealings in Afghanistan with a little help from Texan socialite Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) and CIA’s renegade Gust Avrakotos (Philip Seymour Hoffman).

According to what I read, seems that this movie more than a drama is a satire, a smart satire where history is shown to repeat itself as both tragedy and farce and gee, it may be a satire, but is a very scary satire when it shows you that American politics can be (and for sure are) in the hands of very powerful (and wealthy) private citizens. Very scary. Okay this is not new or news, but it is scary the same.

As a movie, well is not that bad, actually is quite good. If this were fiction instead of real life the movie would have been outstandingly entertaining as the all star cast does a good job performing not necessarily likeable characters in a way that you could end up even sympathizing with them. Also the director does a great job moving the picture in a very fast pace for all the years and incidents it covers. Unfortunately this is no fiction, so the story you’ll be able to see could reach a very upsetting bittersweet feeling that hits harder with the good actors performance and the good director.

By the way, some criticize Julia Roberts performance. Unfortunately during my wandering in this world I had the opportunity to meet some Texas ladies that were exactly like her character and her performance, so I cannot say that she’s portraying non-real characters or that she’s doing it inaccurately, forced or exaggerating.

I know American adult audiences will love this movie and perhaps will find it entertaining (as many American critics did) but I strongly suggest non-American audiences to see this movie, as is also the history of many other countries, including the one I’m currently living and others where I have lived.

A must be seen for the story it tells.

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