I saw a film today, oh boy! Charlie Wilson’s War, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Carrot Julienne Roberts (If you read her last name in mandarin, it translates as carrot/radish julienne. Who knew?!) was our pick based on the fact that it would start 10 minutes from the time we bought the tickets.

Another in a long line of American films criticizing American action/inaction in world affairs, this one was more than bearable and quite good honestly. For an American film, the humour was particularly dry, in part to relate to the “issues” its discussing I suppose. Its based on a true story about a congressman who wills the US to aid Pakistan and Afghanistan to war against the Soviets back in the 80s through his persuasive politicking.

Tom Hanks plays the rather affable lead character who’s a womanising, whiskey drinking diplomat who also happens to have a heart. Julia Roberts is the woman who uses a combination of her femininity and anti-communist drive to inspire him. She is literally Cruella de Vil’s long lost twin. Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays the CIA guy who acts as the grunt that makes things happen through his crude methodology and also a sort of “zen master” that is the medium behind the message.

“You wanna maybe get outta here or something?”

If anything, Hoffman’s character is far too obviously the most likeable. He’s beyond cool in a campy, awkward fashion, given his rotund figure, straight shooting mouth and a blank stare partly obsured by amber glasses. His devil may care attitude comes across hard and heavy whilst his delivery is inch perfect. I’m totally rooting for him to win a second Oscar for this role simply because he’s goddamn awesome. (His first was a Best Actor for Capote) I sort of wish I could have a tache like that.

The film is really well paced and engaging at every turn. It juxtaposes the hedonistic lifestyle of the lead with his rather selfless, morally “upright” drive to accomplish his love interest’s goal of killing commies. This is set against the idea of Newton’s 3rd law and raises debate over morality, religion and American interventionism/stupidity. Its interesting how a “no-name” congressman manages to punch above his weight so spectacularly and with such panache. Its also interesting how the atypical, nameless cronies seem to have no balls.

Charlie Wilson’s War rages on it seems.