“There’s a little boy and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse… and everybody in the village says, “how wonderful. The boy got a horse” And the Zen master says, “we’ll see.” Two years later, the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg, and everyone in the village says, “How terrible.” And the Zen master says, “We’ll see.” Then, a war breaks out and all the young men have to go off and fight… except the boy can’t cause his legs all messed up. and everybody in the village says, “How wonderful.” ” – Gust Avrakotos
Number of Times Seen – 2 (22 Apr 2008 and 15 Mar 2016)
Brief Synopsis – Based on the true story of a US congressman who helped the Afghans defeat the Russians in the 80’s.
My Take on it – This is a true to life story that has had such an impact on the world that I expected it to be more interesting and engaging.
Instead, it feels like a typical Hollywoodicized story that comes across as lackluster instead of momentous.
The script was written by Aaron Sorkin and for all of us West Wing lovers, the story and dialogue just isn’t reminiscent enough of his political scripts of the past. Granted, his handwriting is there, but just the caliber comes off weakly.
Tom Hanks once again gives us a superb performance, but I was disappointed by the mediocre performances of Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
What makes this quite interesting tho is the things that are not mentioned outright but are alluded to regarding events leading up to 9/11 and the current (long) war in the Middle East.
Bottom Line – Not your typical Sorkin kind of script but still resonates of his involvement. Interesting story that has had a huge ripple effect on global events over the last 35 years. Hanks is superb as always but I was slightly disappointed with Hoffman and Roberts’ performances. Despite being based on a true story , I felt it was weak in its delivery and didn’t feel better than an average film.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Charlie Wilson said in a USA Today article that he had no qualms about the film, saying “Anything I might have objected to was provable”. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy
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