It’s a dangerous game we play when we decide to watch a film based on the fact that it was directed by the same director who directed one of you favourite films. I’ve been stung by similar promises in the past and all it ends up proving is that it takes more than just one person to make a great film.
But essentially this was the sole reason I decided to give Fair Game a go. It wasn’t convinced that the pairing of Naomi Watts and Sean Penn would amount to much, and the film’s tag line, “Wife. Mother. Spy.” didn’t exactly scream “you must watch this film.”
So it was down to the fact that Bourne director Doug Liman was directing that I sat down recently and watched the true story of a covert CIA operative getting burnt by her own government as payback for her husband’s anti-wat stance.
The story is based on true events, and is a very believable story, even though it’s hard to prove with various people claiming different parts to be true or misleading. The important thing is that it’s a film that makes the whole affair believable, and in a riveting, must watch kind of way.
Naomi Watts and Sean Penn are, despite my concerns, perfectly cast in this tale of a couple pushed past the point of breaking. Watts plays the role of the tow the line, patriotic CIA employee, whilst Penn plays the polar opposite, we’ll fight for the truth no matter what type guy.
Everything about the film just clicks. For a true story drama, it’s got a decent amount of pace, and for a conspiracy thriller it’s got the depth and a clever story-line and ending that doesn’t spell out exactly who was moving pieces behind the scenes, leaving it up for discussion or arguments after the film has finished.
Whilst there are no Jason Bourne moments, Liman manages to use his action film background with adequate restraint to produce a film where the story and the characters drive the plot rather than explosions.
Reviewed by: Jonathan