25 July 2011

Movies: Fair Game

Fair Game (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0977855/

Drama based on real events. It's about the leak outing Valerie Plame as a covert CIA agent and the aftermath in the context of the run-up and prosecution of the Iraq war.

To me the film seemed to follow details and events that I recall from the stories in the news at the time.  It also portrayed views into the Plame/Wilson personal lives and the event's impacts on the couple. 

Acted very well by Naomi Watts as Valerie Plame and Sean Penn as her husband Joe Wilson. Solid supporting cast as well.  Paced well. I really enjoyed the film.

It is pretty much a procedural drama shown in sequential order, no flashbacks or anything.  The film integrates actual news clips to punctuate the story and even includes a bit where Naomi Watts as Plame begins her testimony to Congress and it fades into footage of the real Valerie Plame giving that testimony.

If you expect your films to be flashy and explosions and machine guns and karatekungfufisticuffs extravaganzas or space aliens ripping out people's brains and lasers and rocketships you'll get none of that here.  If you enjoy watching a group of leathery elderly ladies pretending to be in their early 20s shopping for clothes and shoes and imagining they're desirable, you won't find that here either.
If this was purely a work of fiction it probably wouldn't be that great of a thriller/drama. But it's a lot more compelling when you saw the events play out in the news then get to see them dramatized into one coherent story.

This is one of those rare stories that will probably anger or frustrate all of its viewers on some level, but for different reasons based on where they fall in the political spectrum, how closely they followed the news reports of the issues and which news source they trust the most. I don't trust any single news source, but I realize not everyone takes the time to follow multiple news sources to try to filter out the source bias. Green Zone was similar in angering its whole audience, although it was a work of fiction based on information that later was verified to be pretty close to what the film portrayed. Fair Game could possibly be as divisive as Green Zone to its viewers.

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