This scathing satire of American politics tells the unbelievably true story of a Texas Congressman who, after visiting refugees in Pakistan and Afghanistan, conspired to take on the Russian Communists in the mid-80's at the height of the Cold War.
To fight a war costs money, and this movie pulls no punches as it shows how the American budget gets distributed when it comes to spending on millitary arms and ammunition. The Americans have vowed to help the Afghanistan population with arms, ammunition and training so that they'll be able to take on the advancing Russians. Our current knowledge of world terrorist affairs during the past few years make this movie even more topical, as we see how America actually helped Afghan rebels over 20 years ago. But how things have changed in this world.
The movie is briskly paced and Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts give good performances as the Southerners who rally together to try and raise the funds needed for battle. Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays a CIA agent with heartfelt cynicism and his performance is one of his best. There is quite a bit of intended humour in the film which bothered me just a tad, as I felt it wasn't taking itself seriously some of the time, but that's a minor quibble about an otherwise absorbing history lesson. (4 out of 5, by Carlisle Johnson)
Oscar winners Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman star in Charlie Wilson's War - the outrageous true story of how one congressman who loved a good time, one Houston socialite who loved a good cause and one CIA agent who loved a good fight conspired to bring about the largest covert operation in history.
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Review This Product
Tue, 12 Aug 2008 | Review by: Micky B
True story of how Southern Texas Democrat, Charlie Wilson, engineered the dissolution of the USSR! By subtly and step-by-step upping a specified section of the US defense budget from a mere $5million to a full one billion dollars, the people of Afghanistan were able to throw off their communist yolk for once and for all.
Granted, a Tom Hanks (as Senator Charles Wilson,) with plenty of lush, black hair, takes a bit of getting used to. Ditto Joanne Herring, who is played by such a glamorous Julia Roberts that it needs time to absorb who you are watching. But Oscar nominee Phillip Seymour Hoffman, as CIA agent Gustav Avrakotos, is truly marvelous - as is Ned Beatty, as Representative Doc Long Mike Nichols' direction is near-perfect, as always, while James Newton Howard's musical score is worth the price of admission alone.
I have the feeling that we, as non-Americans, are missing out on some of the finer points of the plot; but the whole thing is well worth watching anyway.
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