Robert McNamara summed it up best: “Cold war? Hell, it was a hot war!” If you want a visceral illustration of the disparities explored in Charlie Wilson’s War, you could do a lot worse than that gulf between cold – functional handshakes, photo-op smiles – and hot.
Because the hot in Charlie Wilson’s War is a killing heat. Bodies are torn apart, war machines downed in operatic fervour. Wacked out on sunstroke, nobody can seem to tell their loving and their vengeful Gods apart anymore. The action sequences, intercuts of grainy-as-guts archival and pristine staged footage, meld together, the realities on the ground conflating with the media feed until it’s all kinda lost in one deadly haze.
Walking straight down the middle of all these lines is our guy, the titular Mr. Wilson. This is where Aaron Sorkin’s careful blend of researched grounding and theatrical playfulness blends with Hanks’ unflagging affability to chuck Charlie into the realms of minor classic.
Hanks and Hoffman’s characters anchor the picture’s fluctuating perspectives – here, there, then, now, us, them – with a kind of playful Zen mastery of their own discrepancies. It’s not that
The most widely-viewed account of
Which brings you right back to “Strange” McNamara: ain’t hindsight a bitch?
[originally appeared on Flicks]