Based on the career’s dusk of one Valerie E. Wilson née Valerie Plame in the CIA after deeply involved in determining whether there’s actually a WMD in Iraq or not, “Fair Game” is, in my opinion, would’ve been much better had I read it in a novel form. It was dense and perhaps a bit convoluted. Not that it wasn’t an entertaining piece but given the content, I could easily imagined that upon hearing the premise of this film, quite a numerous many would involuntarily heaved a sigh. It is after all, yet another one to tackle the ubiquitous subject centered in or around Iraq and therefore renders its perceived value to be slightly less than it actually was.
Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) was a CIA agent involved in many covert operation around the globe until she was plunged into the Iraq situation, more or less in charge of determining the facts about whether there’s actually a WMD in Iraq or not. In this film, she was pictured as an ideal analyst whom intelligence reports were always based on hard facts even if the big boss had wanted the facts to be the exact opposite. Her first of many ‘mistakes’ that eventually led to what would later christened as “Plamegate,” was involving her husband, Ambassador Wilson (Sean Penn) in the investigation and as her husband was more unwilling to back down without a fight after his reports were intentionally altered. Ambassador Wilson went to the media and eventually garnered the attention from Washington resulted in the allegedly leaked information on Valerie Plame’s true nature as the CIA agent instead of a venture capitalist cover she had maintained over her friends and most of her family.
Qualifiable as a thriller, this film relies its tension and mounting anxiety on words that if you weren’t a fan of talkie films, don’t say that I didn’t warn you. Based on real events, fictionalized if you will, the film used real names, prominent names that even if you had the least bit of knowledge on the Iraq situation, you’d recognize them. It was bold and should be interesting to those who were at the least bit, curious about the “truth” behind the Iraq situation. Of course, at this point, the “truth” has been so terribly saturated that it is impossible, or at least difficult to held a reasonable discussion on the subject. As a net effect, “Fair Game,” as a film, I think works better if you were agreeing to what it had proposed in the first place.
In my opinion, Naomi Watts and Sean Penn made a curious couple but they had hold themselves reasonably well and the film relies heavily on a story that oft times, to a good thing, the relationships between this curious couple give way to a story and therefore, renders the required chemistry between the two reasonably small. All in all, the film was dense. Faces and names swims by that it was sometime hard to relate or even remembers who was who save for the couple’s role that has become the central of this tale. I think, it should be safe to say that there are two school of thoughts resulted from this film. One, if you had agreed to the initial premise to which you’ll most likely find yourself enjoying it, or two, otherwise you’d get inevitably sucked to the whirlpool of boredom.
My rating: *** / **** – One thing certain, I’d like to read the books which had become the basis of this film. Told properly, I think that I could easily liked the books even more than this film. Oh, it should be obvious that of two school of thoughts I had mentioned earlier, I belonged to the first one. One more thing, this film’s movie poster is horrible.