Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) – REVIEW

by Jordache Wee

Release Date: December 21, 2007
Directed by: Mike Nichols
Music by: James Newton Howard
Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Ned Beatty, Emily Blunt, Om Puri, Ken Stott, John Slattery, Denis O’Hare, Judy Tylor, Peter Gerety, Brian Markinson, Christopher Denham, Spencer Garrett, Kevin Rooney, Pasha Lychnikoff, Hilary Angelo, Cyia Batten, Tracy Phillips, Shiri Appleby, Rachel Nichols, Wynn Everett, Mary Bonner Baker

On April 16, 1980 – Charlies Wilson (Tom Hanks) was in Las Vegas in one of the stripper club with friend, Paul Brown (Brian Markinson), actress wannabe Crystal Lee (Judy Tylor) and two strippers named Stacey (Cyia Batten) and Kelly (Hilary Angelo).  Charlie Wilson is a Texas Congressman who loves to party wild.

That same night, Dan Rather was seen covering a news in Afghanistan about Mujahideen warriors fighting against the Soviet Union military. This incident caught Charlie’s attention.

He check out of the place with Paul and the other girls. The girls were high on marijuana. Charlie left Las Vegas for Washington DC.

Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks) having intimacy with Jane Liddle (Emily Blunt)

Arrived back home with another woman named Jane Liddle (Emily Blunt). But his evening was spoilt with a call from Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts), who encouraged him to help the Afghan people and persuades him to visit Pakistan who has been complaining of the Afghan’s crossing into their northern border.

Back in the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) Headquarters Office in Langley, Gust Avrakotos (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is furiously driven by his new CIA director of European Operations – Henry Cravely (John Slattery) for misleading him to learn Finnish. Gust switch to another CIA division whereby he is needed to kill Russians which he seems to be happy working on it.

Charlie and his administrative assistant, Bonnie Bach (Amy Adams) travelled to Pakistan. There, he is greeted by the President of Pakistan Zia-ul-Haq (Om Puri) who wants the United States of America to resolve the Afghan’s war with the Soviet Union.

Charlie proposed a US$ 10 million to fund the Pakistan military but unintentionally the President of Pakistan find it rather amusing. Zia preferred to obtain better weapons. Charlie mentioned a menu of military aircraft which can be purchased but Zia denied his offer. This is because, the military aircraft sold by the United States are majority from the previous war in the World War II and some aircraft does not have radar input.

The President of Pakistan  request Charlie to head to Peshawar to see with his own eyes of the thousands of Afghan sufferings. Charlie seen enough suffering and has decided to fund both Afghanistan and Pakistan with military aid. Before returning to DC, he confronted CIA chief station Harold Holt (Denis O’Hare) at the US Embassy in Pakistan. Holt does not want the US to get involved with the war because it will draw global attention.

Charlie listening to his cocaine prosecution with Jailbait (Shiri Appleby) and Bonnie Bach (Amy Adams) standing aside

Charlie met Gust and further discuss on how to resolve the Afghan issue without mentioning the United States are involved to avoid fight with the Cold War counter-part. In the same time, Charlie is having some prosecution problem when he was deliberately mentioned as a cocaine abuser when he was in Las Vegas. To avoid this matter, Charlie plans to go ahead with resolving the Afghan-Soviet war.

Charlie, Gust Avrakotos (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Mike Vickers (Christopher Denham)

Gust bring Charlie to meet Mike Vickers (Christopher Denham), a 30-year-old CIA military weapons strategist. Charlie is satisfied with Mike’s knowledge that he has made up his mind on the weapons to help the Mujahideen.

Charlie and Gust flew to Jerusalem to convince Israeli firearms merchant, Zvi Rafiah (Ken Stott) to provide weapons to Afghanistan. At first, he disagreed due to the recent resolve tension with his neighbor Muslim counter-part in Egypt but knowing he is good friend with Charlie so the deal is confirmed.

Zvi, Charlie and Gust then flew to Saudi Arabia and persuade both countries to work along to prevent the Soviet Union invasion and finally meeting back with Zia to provide more armaments.

The CIA anti-communism’s budget started with only US$ 5 million to over US$ 500 million. The end of the Soviet’s power lasted until 1988. However, neither Charlie or Gust claimed any credits.

Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) congratulates Charlie Wilson on his efforts

And his cocaine allegations were dropped due to lack of evidence. Charlie was awarded for his efforts in resolving the cold war issue.

Reviewer’s Note:
Charlie Wilson is depicted as a man of “public relations”. What he does to socialize with people is part of the “lobbying” job. Those who vote for him will get beneficial efforts from him. He may be a alcoholic and a party-pooper but he is the man who will not break his promise.

Apparently this film will give you some ideas on how actually there’s such people called the Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s forces. They were part of the CIA endorsement until something else happened. 

Charlie Wilson’s War is politically motivated with the type of people involved. We get to know what type of person is he and he will do get his things done without any barriers.

Although, cocaine allegations was true in real life but it will be interesting that he doesn’t have it at all. 

An enjoyable film but not suitable for those disliking slow-pacing films and full of conversations. 

Don’t watch if politics is not your kind of thing!

One response to “Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) – REVIEW

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