Fair Game (2010)

Valarie Wilson (Naomi Watts) is a secret agent for the CIA. When her findings regarding the lack of WMDs in Iraq contradict the government’s gun-ho adgenda and are resolutely ignored, Wilson’s husband (Sean Penn) takes it upon himself to publish the truth in an article for The New York Times. As the backlash begins, Valarie must fight for her honour, her country, and her jeopardised marriage.

I understand why you might not have liked Fair Game. After such government conspiracies as Salt and Bourne, Fair Game inevitably seems a little staid by comparison. Sedate, unhurried and based on a true story, Doug Liman’s latest is essentially the anti-Bourne. Nevertheless, Fair Game is an outstanding political thriller, though such filmic jargon is of as little use here as it was to the real Valerie Wilson when her identity was leaked to all in sundry, her years of dutiful service dismissed so that she might serve as an easy scapegoat. No, this is a movie that must take its time, with little concern for the litre of Coke you’d devoured before the latest detestable Orange advert. The subject matter deserves it.

Although my enjoyment was consistently hampered by a poorly executed shaky-cam, I find it impossible to judge a film on anything other than the impact it had on me. Evoking the most overpowering display of outrage since Delores Umbridge was crowned High Inquisitor of Hogwarts, I struggled to control my anger as Naomi Watts watched her life spiral out of control at the hands of the American government. If Liman’s mission was to guide opinion regarding the USA’s falsification of reports and fabrication of Weapons of Mass Destruction, then it succeeded entirely. I may have fidgeted, but I was never bored.

Slow, poorly shot but endlessly engaging, Fair Game reunites Naomi Watts with 21 Grams co-star Sean Penn to great effect. Together, they are a powerhouse of emotion and determination that carry the film through the considerable bureaucracy admirably.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

3 Responses to Fair Game (2010)

  1. Tash says:

    interesting, interesting. I have to say that I wished it had been a documentary rather than a sensationalised version of the truth – felt a bit like they couldn’t see the wood for the trees. Great performances all around though, and necessary stuff. Concise thoughts there Neish, i only wish I could be as firm.

    • I completely agree that it would have made for an incredible documentary, but I’m a sucker for a dramatic conspiracy thriller. It was so nice to have Naomi Watts back on the big screen that I was more than willing to overlook a little sensationalism, having written a GCSE paper on why we shouldn’t go to war in Iraq, Fair Game was like cathartic catnip.

      Also, the only reason I was so concise was that it was 1am in the morning and I was beginning to drool on my keyboard. I might take another pass at it tomorrow.

  2. Pingback: March 2011 – You made me…a period mix? « popcornaddict

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