Monday, May 09, 2011
Charlie Wilson's War (9/10)
By now I've come to expect something special from a Mike Nichols movie. So when I watched this one, I was positive that I wouldn't be disappointed, but I wasn't counting on being blown away, which is what happened. This movie is a masterpiece of its genre, a political satire of the very highest calibre, not to mention an exceptional biopic.
Charlie Wilson was a US congressman with pretty serious character & moral issues, who almost single-handedly was responsible for the US arming of the Afgan resistance against the Soviets, hence directly causing the end of the cold war. He was a womanizer & chronic drinker whose heart was in the right place, and when he witnessed the pain and inhuman atrocities in the Afgan refugee camps, he took it upon himself to arm the Afgan resistance. The movie tells his story, and how he finds unlikely allies in a coarse, foul-mouthed CIA operative, an exceedingly rich woman with a personal interest in the well-being of the Afgans and the bevy of gorgeous, eager-to-please, all-female assistants (Charlie's angels)!
Why is it so good? As always with a Mike Nichols movie, the dialogue is wonderfully brilliant, laced with satire, shrewdness and wit. The acting is uniformly excellent, and Philip Seymour Hoffman is absolutely, unbelievably good as the foul-mouthed CIA guy. He owns the screen in every single one of his shots, being charmingly politically incorrect and showing remarkable confidence, control & passion with his dialogue delivery. The music at all the times is meticulously matched to the setting and enhances the feel and the authenticity of every shot. The entire movie is shot and controlled so well that the brillance is enhanced by the seeming effortlessness of it all.
Another masterpiece from the master film-maker!