Charlie Wilson’s War – **

Posted: March 15, 2012 in 2007, Drama, Political, USA, War, XX

The most important line of the movie comes at the end. A member of the US Congress says “We always go in with our ideas and we change the world and then we leave…” That is exactly why so many people are frustrated about the wars in Afghanistan (and other places in the world). First the American government arms the Afghan people to chase away the communists and after that’s been achieved the US government leaves the Afghan people in a mess of horror and poverty, resulting in fanaticism.  This all happened back in the mid eighties and it’s happening all over again now in 2012.

The above mentioned congressman is Charlie Wilson, a party politician who lives a rock ‘n roll lifestyle with a lot of booze, drugs and women. He’s a Democrat from Texas, not considered important at all, but fun to hang out with regardless if you’re from the press or from the Republican party or a stripper in a Las Vegas Casino. Because nobody really cares about him so much politically, he manages to raise enough awareness and money to arm the Afghan people in their fight against the Russians who kill and rape their children and bomb entire villages with heavy artillery. Wilson cares about this after he has visited a refuge camp in Pakistan and it determined to help the Afghan people in their resistance.

Interesting movie material and with the current troubles between the US and the Afghan people, I thought it was worth watching Charlie Wilson’s War. Unfortunately I wasn’t too impressed. Not about the story, because it’s still intriguing and I’ve been consulting wikipedia a lot after the end credits. But about the movie itself. It got a nomination as best ‘comedy’ at the Golden Globes that year, but I didn’t consider this movie a comedy at all. It’s not funny enough to be a comedy (even though the trailer has all the funny lines). It’s also a bit strange to make a comedy about such a serious matter. I do think the movie was historically correct, but there were several scenes that I thought were not genuine at all. Probably as a (failed) intention to bring in some humor. Wilson with a Jewish arms dealer and Pakistani politicians together in a nightclub in Cairo watching a sexy belly dancer perform? Wilson in a whirlpool with some tv producer, a wanna be actress and two strippers sniffing coke? Visiting a refuge camp with an important christian financial sponsor who breaks out in tears? I just didn’t believe it. The settings would have worked in The Hangover, but not in a political drama.

Tom Hanks is Tom Hanks. Sorry. He’s not Charlie Wilson. Julia Roberts is Julia Roberts. She’s not Joanne (a rich new born Christian Texan who pushes Wilson into caring about this situation). Phillip Seymour Hoffman is Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Not a maverick CIA agent.

But I’m happy to have seen the movie even though it got me frustrated knowing very well that war mongers are evil everywhere. Why spend 500 million of dollars on arms supply to a country and then not spend one million to help re-erect schools. Insane!

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