Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Action Charlie Wilson’s War

Charlie Wilson’s War

Charlie Wilson entered into the demented world that is American politics by protesting the senseless killing of his dog by his next door neighbor. As a teenager at the age of 13, Wilson drove poor neighborhood voters to the polls and proclaimed to each of them that the incumbent had killed his dog. Wilson won the election by sixteen votes causing him to take a divine interest in American politics. Wilson would later become the Democratic United States Representative from the second congressional district in Texas. This is where the story in Charlie Wilson’s War picks up.

When Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), the congressional womanizing alcoholic, hears of the Soviet plan to invade Afghanistan, he aids the Afghan Mujahideen with anti-aircraft weapons that could take down Soviet helicopters with help from CIA agent Gust Avrakotos (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts). Wilson would eventually succeed in moving $300 million of unused Pentagon funds into the Afghan operation granting Wilson a significant influence on the level of support the Afghan Mujahideen received from the United States. With Wilson’s help, Afghan forces were able to defeat the Soviet Union. It is hard to believe that one man was able to sneak behind the majority of the United States government and provide Afghan forces with weapons. It is hard to believe that one man, a lone congressional representative from the state of Texas was the cause of the Afghan victory over the Soviet Union and the eventual cause of the United States victory in the Cold War.

The film portrays the eventual truth that the covert operation was the cause of funding Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, which ultimately led to the 9/11 attacks. Why is it every country we have helped in the past: Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., come back to bit us in the butt? Maybe, it is because we only think of ourselves and our greed causes other countries to loathe us. You know what they say, “If you don’t know history you’re doomed to repeat it.” It seems to be a fitting statement for today’s America and the country’s current affairs around the world. Some people will claim this film is Hollywood liberal crap, but it is in reality a story about a heroic man who did what ever he could to bring down the Soviet Union.

Tom Hanks and Phillip Seymour Hoffman make a great duo with Hoffman ultimately stealing the show from Hanks with his hilarious one-liners. Hanks proves once again that he is a versatile actor who can play any role he puts his mind to. Would it have been possible for Amy Adams to play her own character and Julia Roberts’ character at the same time during this film? Amy Adams is a pleasant, sweet actress who would have owned the character of Joanne Herring, but the role was “granted” to Julia Roberts who outright annoyed and bored me in this film. Director Mike Nichols and Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin deliver a political history lesson without drifting too far from the main storyline. James Newton Howard renders a superb score that should be worthy of an Oscar nod. This entire film is filled with potential Oscar nominees and winners.

2 thoughts on “Charlie Wilson’s War”

  1. America is typically portrayed as the heroes who save the day; I thought this film did a nice job of showing it a little differently. It was very subtle. I also respected the foreshadowing of “@#%^ing up the endgame,” as Wilson puts it.

  2. You should have watched the documentary on Charlie Wilson before seeing this movie. It made it more interesting to see how everything was protrayed after seeing it from the horse’s mouth.

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