Quote by Charlie Wilson:These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world... And then we fucked up the end game.
Based on real events, this movie covers the American reaction (or lack thereof) to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. One congressman - Charlie Wilson, from Texas (played by Tom Hanks) - was in the right place at the right time, to influence American policy in the area.
At first he doubles the covert ops budget for the region from 5 to 10 million dollars, and then it doubles again, and again... Tom Hanks does a fantastic job as the titular womanizing congressman. He really nails this role, and he's never less than exactly who he wants to be.
Here's Wilson, in a hottub with strippers and a starlet, watching Afghanistan on the news.
He's supported by Philip Seymour Hoffman, a man who I wouldn't have recognized before this, but who I would now go out of my way to see. He played the perfect disgruntled CIA operative, denied a transfer to a Finland office after learning Finnish for the job.
Both characters are very likeable, and very funny.
Wilson has staffed his office with competent and beautiful women, and the movie oozes with attractive female sexuality. This really helps provide a contrast between the staggeringly wealthy USA and the mud-hut warzone of Afghanistan.
Julia Roberts also plays a very solid role. She's a powerful, rich Texan fighting God's fight with real conviction... But not so much she avoids sleeping with Wilson to seal a deal. =)
It's a fantastic movie. We loved it, laughing and enjoying the ride. It's absolutely rock-solid, with great scripting, acting and direction.
The happiness of the Mujahideen, finally able to return fire against the Soviet Hind helicoptors, is genuinely palpable. We cheered along with them as they knocked the first chopper out of the air.
Interestingly the movie doesn't shy away from the tragic real-world truth: America's lack of followthrough left the Afghan people with nothing but guns. The conclusion is as adeptly handled as the rest of the movie.
No reservations: This movie gets my highest recommendation. Go get it! (Mininova torrent link)