Director: Doug Liman. River Road Entertainment, Rated M, 104 Minutes
The incredible true story of Valerie Plame is dramatically and vividly brought to the big screen by the director of The Bourne Identity Doug Liman.
In his exciting political thriller Fair Game which takes place amidst Washington’s political environment, Liman recreates the amazing story of the political victimisation of CIA operative Valerie Plame by members of the Bush Administration following the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
In addition to the brilliant portrayal by Australian actress Naomi Watts (The International) of the central character Valerie Plame - not to mention that of Academy Award winning actor Sean Penn (Milk) playing her husband Joseph Wilson - Liman also uses to great effect hand held cameras as a demonstration of his skilful direction technique which adds greater authenticity to his storyline.
On one hand, Liman’s movie has the same intrigue and suspense as that political classic All the President’s Men (1976) but on the other it is presented as a more intense thriller set at a cracking pace which ensures the audience is glued to their seats-watching each absorbing event unfold.
This is certainly one of Watts’s best performances to date and deserving of academy recognition but it is also a riveting piece of filmmaking that combines appropriate action sequences with political intrigue.
There is no doubt that Fair Game is a remarkable movie not only because of an extraordinary storyline, the appropriate settings - especially in the Middle East and the performances of the lead actors (notably Watts) but moreso as it shows how inappropriately the Bush Administration abused its power by manipulating the truth about the weapons of mass destruction.
It is also clear that Liman took great delight in exposing the Administration’s misdemeanours with the added punchline being the real Valerie Plame’s appearance at the Senate Hearings shown at the conclusion of the movie.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 Rubber Stamps
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