Saturday, December 29, 2007

Charlie Wilson's War

This movie garnered four Golden Globe noms in the comedy/musical category. Um, say what? Charlie Wilson's War is about as funny as Schindler's List. Sure, Aaron Sorkin's script is witty--in a dry and sardonic way--intelligent and insightful. Tom Hanks plays an adorably lovable bad boy. Philip Seymour Hoffman fires off acerbic one liners with his usual panache and Julia Roberts looks luminous and does what she can with a fairly two-dimensional role. But a comedy? Not quite.

This is a serious film about foreign policy, the inner workings of the American political process and the serious consequences of our arrogant belief that we know what's best for the world. Sure, Charlie Wilson might have contributed to the fall of the Soviet empire and the end of the cold war, but the aftermath of triumph of Afghanistan led to the rise of the Taliban, 9/11 and the Iraq war. It's eye-opening to witness the back room dealings of Congress and it's heart-wrenching to realize that our government would rather spend billions to fund wars instead of a million for humanitarian aid, reconstruction, education.

The movie is a brisk 97 minutes long. And while it is taut and lean, it is also dry and lacking in emotion. I would have liked to have known the motivations behind Joanne Herring (Roberts) passionate involvement. I would have liked to have seen more development in Hanks' character. I would have liked to have seen more time devoted to the outcomes created by this action. We get a wry, philosophical scene with Charlie and Gust (Hoffman) which certainly connects the dots for some, but doesn't drive the point home enough. America backed Saddam Hussein prior to his invasion of Kuwait. The CIA created Osama bin Laden. When will we learn that our manipulation and attempt to control the world only ends up biting us in the ass?

No comments:

Post a Comment