Charlie Wilson’s War
Charlie Wilson’s War is the true story of Texan playboy congressman Charlie Wilson, Joanne Herring, a beautiful and rich Houston socialite and a renegade CIA operative Gust Avrakotos. A stranger bunch of people you’re not likely to find, but find each other they did, and through some political power plays and deft diplomacy they managed to run the biggest black op in American history that not only lead to the Russian humiliation in Afghanistan, but also sent shockwaves that eventually helped end the cold war.
Of course watching the movie, one can surmise that Charlie only came upon history by accident – more interested in strippers, hot tubs and cocaine, it was only through one of his biggest contributors that Charlie was lead towards his destiny, and then it was only through witnessing first had the tragedy unfolding under America’s nose that Charlie decided to take notice and see what he could do.
Once Charlie was pointed in the right direction however, he was like a dog on the scent of a bone. He would not give up.
As an oddball and ever so slightly black comedy, Charlie Wilson’s War shines bright – it’s got some of the funniest scenes you’ll ever see in a true war story. Hanks and Hoffman are ideally suited to their roles and seem to relish the chance to bring their characters to life.
As a true-life drama, it’s interesting to see the wide-ranging ramifications of what was done by America, and the abject failings of their foreign policy.
Visually Charlie Wilson’s War is let down in places, when stock footage is used alongside CGI enhanced scenes, the grainy news style images don’t quite fit the flow, but to be honest, this movie was never meant to be a special effects blockbuster.
For prudish viewers some early scenes of Charlie’s life will shock, but if you can get past this minor distraction, you’ll not only get the background on what really happened in Afghanistan, but you’ll be entertained for the full 97 minutes.
An ideal companion to the more sober The Kite Runner.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Duration: 97 mins.
Genre: Drama, Comedy.
Actors: Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Director: Mike Nichols.
Release Date: 24-01-2008.