Sunday, November 15, 2009

Charlie Wilson's War. B+

Charlie Wilson was a Texas Democratic Congressman who loved booze, woman, and having a good time. Yet he's still famous enough to have a big movie made after him. Why? Well the film begins with him receiving an award. Then it flashes back to how he got it. It started when he met with Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts), who encouraged to him to help out the Afghans, who were on the brink of being annihilated by the Soviets. So Wilson reluctantly goes to Afghanistan where he is shocked by bitter life the people there live. He is particularly disturbed by the society the children are living in. He sees one child who lost his hands when picking up a piece of candy that was actually a bomb. So he decides its his mission to help these people defeat the Soviets. The plot goes on and on, and sometimes gets a bit tedious. But what really makes this movie work is the way it doesn't take itself too seriously. It blends drama and satire with three actors (Hanks, Roberts, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as a CIA operative) at the top of their game. Good political satire is a rarity these days, but it comes back to life with 'Charlie Wilson's War.'

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