Title: Charlie Wilson’s War
Language: English, Dari, Russian, Hebrew
Country: USA, Germany
Genre: Biography, Comedy
Director: Mike Nichols
Writers: Aaron Sorkin, George Crile
Music: James Newton Howard
Cinematography: Stephen Goldblatt
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Nancy Linehan Charles
I felt sluggish to watch this film which I had bought for many years as I have a hunch that it will not please me (a main ground is Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts’ descending judgement of plumping for right roles); however, since I have an ambitious plan not to miss any Oscar-nominated films, particularly with acting nominations as my topmost priority, thanks to Philip Seymour Hoffman, I have no excuse to shun it.
The film is a lot shorter than I expected, and most of the time its satirical tone conforms with the storyline swiftly in spite of its thorny political engagement. Claiming to be a non-fictional biography, the frivolous keynote does deprive a great amount of authenticity of the story per se, (what Charlie did in the film seems to be truly effortless and basically without any genuine barricades, which makes the film look highly doubtful, I think it is a whitewashed biopic which suits well only for its satirical tenor, and if only history could talk!), so even the Oscar-winning veteran director Mike Nichols cannot upgrade the film into the elite rank like his previous works (just to name a few, such as THE GRADUATE 1967, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? 1966, WIT 2001, or even CLOSER 2004), notwithstanding that Aaron Sorkin’s sharp-witted script is a bonus.
Regardless of the certitude of the narratives, the film is an elegant politics lampoon, it intrigues its viewer into a labyrinthine puzzle about the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan in the early 1980s, and the intricate Cold War status, but fails to elucidate the entire undertaking in a compelling method, instead it is painstakingly establishing a paradigm of an American hero who has single-handed ended the Cold War menace, which is extremely repellent for me.
The Tom-and-Julia pair in the film is perkily fluid, but no vigorous vibes and Hanks’ womanizer image is extremely overstating, by comparison Philip Seymour Hoffman becomes the saving grace of the cast, not his best but riveting enough to garner an Oscar nomination under his belt.