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The air is blue with the sound of sleaze and politics
Charlie Wilson's War (DVD)
Member Name: IzzyS
Charlie Wilson's War (DVD)
Advantages: Good cast/performances, generally felt like a well made movie, somewhat intriguing story
Disadvantages: The strong language at times may put some off, stereotypes present (I dont like stereotypes(!))
- Cast/Credits -
- Story -
Charlie Wilson's War depicts Charlie Wilson, a Texas congressman, a womaniser with a love of drinking, partying and more, who reluctantly becomes involved with the Soviet war in Afghanistan for some shady reasons but as he becomes more involved, he's encouraged to see what effect his actions is making on the ground.
- Thoughts/Opinions -
I find it somewhat ironic when Tom Hanks plays the part of characters which live such devious lives, such as Charlie Wilson, considering from what I know of him, he's quite the opposite and indeed is supposedly a very strict father. I think that he was the right actor for this part due to a number of reasons, including his age and his look, or more his expressions in this role, playing the cool as a cucumber congressman who can (or who believes he can) sweet talk most everyone and doesn't believe that any misdemeanours (or worse) he's responsible for will catch up with him.
Its rather depressing viewing, telling the tale of a 'player' who becomes more personally attached to the war he helped back for his own selfish gain, as he's forced to see a bit of the reality behind it while visiting Afghanistan. However, don't be expecting a big epiphany and sudden turnaround from the earlier character, as he does continue to barter and seem like the bigger man but is his heart starting to rule over his head and more importantly greed? eh, I suppose thats up to you to judge.
Don't be expecting much in the way of action scenes in this movie, it mainly consists of political dialogue and is an examination of Charlies ways. I think most women would, after seeing this, be keen on giving him a bit of a slap around the chops! given his behaviour, clearly flirting with many women at the same time and being generally rather selfish - a womanising politician from Texas - shock horror(!) perhaps thats a little unfair, I'm not one who tends to be keen on stereotypes - that much is true (the saying, not the song LOL) but its also true to say that there are some scenes/dialogue which could well make you cringe with his strong Texan accent and his wily 'chat up lines', so don't say I didn't warn you.
I shouldn't make it sound as if the entire movie only features Charlie himself - given his personality, it a) wouldn't make a great deal of sense and b) it would make it rather boring I suppose. Other characters include Joanne Herring, one of the most powerful women in Texas who, of course, Charlie has his eye on for more reasons than one - Joanne is played by another 'a lister' - Julia Roberts. She's certainly no 'dumb blonde' and indeed I think the two of them played off each other so to speak, from what I remember. I think the pairing of the two actors worked quite well, although their not on screen for the entire movie. Another character in the movie is Bonnie Bach, who's played by Amy Adams, who is frustrated as she discovers Charlie's 'ways' - she's a bit more naive and again, her performance is alright. The main non-female secondary role is played by Philip Seymour Hoffman as Gust Avrakotos, who you could describe as a bit of a whistle blower, someone who's cottoned on to the fact that Charlie is no real clean man in many ways and who attempts to bring to light things that Charlie would rather not have come out. There's some pretty good dialogue between these two characters, some of which you can read here:- http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0043843/quotes though obviously be aware that its a bit of a spoiler to read them all if you've not seen the movie but yes, he is a key character too and its interesting to see how the two of them interact (I quickly scanned the link above, there doesn't appear to be any very strong language in the quotes so it should be ok to link to).
Now I haven't mentioned yet what this review title hints to but I will now - the air is blue - yes, this isn't the movie for you if your offended by strong language, so count yourself warned. Its not a tirade of the most vulgar language right throughout but I couldn't help but pick up on the fact that many scenes do feature some fast dialogue containing numerous moderate to strong instances of bad language and I felt I ought to specifically mention that.
- Would I Reccomend It? -
Yes, I feel that this is well made movie with some a listers that give decent performances. Whether or not you'd really enjoy it as a film in general will of course depend on your personal tastes, which is why it can be difficult to decide whether or not to recommend each movie that I review here on Ciao - I can say yes definitely see this movie about one that I particularly liked but it could be that it doesn't appeal to your sense of humour and so its hard to say for sure.
All I can say is that I found it slightly off putting when I learnt what Charlie was really like, then again I'll admit that I didn't know a great deal about this movies plot before I watched it and there wasn't much in the way of action, indeed the plot isn't really particularly fast paced or thrilling, yet it is one of those movies where as much as you watch and feel like you don't really want to know (if you follow my logic), the longer it goes on for, the more your curiosity peaks and you just have to hang around to see how it pans out - although its perhaps a bit of a shame that this is spoilt in a sense, in that at the start of the movie we see Charlie about to be presented with an award and then it goes back to what happened in the past in the lead up to this event - although you wonder if things may change - still I did feel like I wanted to watch how it panned out, ultimately, so in that regard its quite good.
If you like movies such as this and it peaks your interest then I'd recommend it - it has some interesting characters and features a few a listers which provide pretty decent performances, so I can't fault it for that. Just be aware that the air is very much blue, so if your offended by swearing then this is probably not for you.
I hope you found my review useful, thanks for reading it and thanks for all rates and comments. This review was originally posted on Ciao UK.
Summary: A Texas congressman faces the consequences of his actions