Charlie Wilson's War


Freighted with awards expectation, Mike Nichols’ politico-romp left Oscar season sans statue, scoring modest box office numbers and only moderate reviews. It’s a very polite film, despite being tapped out by The West Wing’s savvy Aaron Sorkin and directed by the man behind the brilliantly curdled Carnal Knowledge. The true story of how a hard-drinking congressman tooled up the Taliban to take on the Commies, it’s too in love with its hero (in the feature and the two shiny featurettes) – charmed by his womanising ways and his passion for the Afghans. So, we chuckle with Charlie (Tom Hanks), root for his blue-collar bagman (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and cheer as, um, people we now brand ‘terrorists’ blow Russian planes out of the sky. There’s a hint of how US hit-’n’-run foreign policy sowed seeds for the current crisis, but Charlie Wilson’s War is mostly content to smirk and sigh and mildly muse on why it all went wrong.


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