Charlie Wilson’s War (Nichols, 2007)

Mike Nichols’ problematic and exciting treatment of Congressman Charles Wilson, who single handily helped fund the Afghan Mujahideen against the invading Russians in the 1980’s, is the kind of historical revisionism Hollywood loves – heavy on dramatic weight and light on History. But the film has an energy (mainly due to the first rate performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman as a smarmy and dedicated C.I.A. agent) that’s hard to deny, even when the screenplay and direction seem overt and preachy. Hoffman and Tom Hanks (as Wilson) share a haunting final scene where the disgruntled spy tells the big wig politician of the impending extremism rising up in Afghanistan. The writing of terrorism is on the wall, but the American Government seems too busy celebrating its momentary victory to foresee the horrors to come.

2 thoughts on “Charlie Wilson’s War (Nichols, 2007)

  1. I think I liked this more than you. I agree, yes heavy on drama and light on history but MIke Nichols likes to entertain so long as there is some nugget of responsible truth in the center and I think he achieved that. Maybe the final scene is a bit direct but an audience needs that to leave the theater with some reality (illusion of reality) I certainly didn’t love the film but I’d watch it again just for the performances…..

  2. It seemed like this film was trying to say something important and entertain, but didn’t do either with much stylistic identity or cohesion. It felt caught in the middle of two different tones, neither very interesting or engaging. It’s like Sorkin and Nichols felt they could coast a long on their credentials and it shows in the lazy plot structure and pacing. Thank God for Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tom Hanks, and Amy Adams (who saves the day again).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s