Thursday 26 May 2011

Charlie Wilson's War [2007]

While a lot of movies are being made these days which have their basis on Islamic terrorism, Charlie Wilson’s War concentrated on what gave rise to this global phenomenon. And unlike most movies tackling subjects “based on actual events”, this wickedly funny Mike Nichols movie, adapted from a bestselling novel of the same name, has been imbued with dark humour, sarcasm, political incorrectness, lightness of tone and an overall freewheeling quality, without ever losing sight of its biting political commentary. The film traces how the eponymous Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), a womanizing and hard-drinking Texan congressman, propelled by the persuasiveness of a wealthy, rabid Houston socialite (Julia Roberts), and with more than a little help from a CIA loose cannon (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), helps Afghan freedom fighters in doing a Vietnam by defeating the mighty Soviet army, which inadvertently ends up providing the springboard for the catastrophic rise of the Talibans. Tom Hanks, cast against his type, is good as the sexist and powerful politician who loves his booze and his babes (look out for a sprightly turn by Amy Adams as his pretty secretary), while Hoffman is brilliant as always as a gruff, moody, cynical and utterly non-conformist Company veteran.

Director: Mike Nichols
Genre: Political Satire/Political Drama/Docu-Drama
Language: English
Country: US


Sam Juliano said...

Oh boy Shubhajit, this is that rare instance where we are on opposite ends. I disliked this movie witha passion, finding it a static borefest--all surface glitz and semingly compressed and loose with the facts. About halfway through I remember wanting to tune out completely. Regardless, this is your typically insightful piece, perfectly framed.

Shubhajit said...

Ha ha, yes Sam, a rare instance indeed! I guess this is one of those classic cases of apples and oranges :) I didn't consider this a great movie, but I did like it quite a bit. However, that said, I do respect your point of view as well. Thanks for stopping by.

Alex DeLarge said...

I really disliked it too but once again, great review and points well made. Though you didn't change my mind about the film you made me consider it (and revisit my review) from a different angle. You did put me in the mood to watch BOB ROBERTS again:)

Shubhajit said...

Well my friend, as I mentioned to Sam above, this really is turning out to be a classic apples v/s orange scenario. I'd never attempt to change your point of view, but I'm happy I at least managed to make you reconsider and revisit your review. :)