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Fair Game (2010) DVDScr

Vomanet, There are two parts in Fair Game, one of which lasts far longer than the other. This part is how the film opens, and despite being humorous and light in tone, it isn't anywhere near as entertaining as I was hoping the film would be. After surviving the first part of the film, I got to the second, and was thrilled to finally get some excitement from the film.

That isn't to say the first half is bad, it just wasn't anything like I was expecting. Marketed, (although barely marketed at all), as a political thriller, the majority of the film isn't that at all. I'll admit that setting up the scenario and characters is nice, but doing it in a somewhat confusing and overlong way hurt the finished product.

The first part of the film does a decent enough job at setting up the story. We meet our two leads, our antagonist(s), but we don't get much in terms of thrills. We find out that Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) is a CIA agent, and that she is far more ruthless than she first appears. She knows how to get the information that she wants, and she utilizes this technique whenever it is required.

We also meet her husband, Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn), who is, or was, an ambassador from the United States. He is sent to Niger, (not to be confused with Nigeria, as the film tells us), to find out if it was possible that Iraq was buying things that would make them able to build a nuclear weapon. He discovers that it wasn't, and returns home with his report. Valerie is doing her own research regarding this, and talks with many different people in Iraq, promising them safety in return for information.

What I just explained takes well over an hour for the film to show, and that's a shame, because it does feel like it drags on for too long. The second part involves deceit on the part of the government, and Joseph's attempts to clear his family's name. The government decides to completely disregard Joseph's report, and declare that Valerie is in the CIA--something that is apparently not good when said agent is undercover.

It is in the second half, with Joseph fighting for his family's freedom, the tension created from a lying government and the emotional changes in the characters we have gotten to know, when the film starts kicking into high gear. Prior to this point, there is some amusement in the light- hearted nature of the film. There are jokes, (particularly humorous was one regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs), but there isn't much actually going on.

Once the second half begins, things really start to spiral out of control for Valerie and Joseph. Their marriage starts coming apart, they are receiving death threats daily; the entire country seems to have turned against them. Things are going wrong, and since there was such a large build-up to this point of the film, we care about what is happening to our characters. When things start heading south, we are saddened by it.

This is also helped out by great performances by Watts and Penn, who are appearing together in their third film. (The previous films being 21 Grams and The Assassination of Richard Nixon). Watts plays her character incredibly seriously, and it works shockingly well. She means business, and it is apparent right away. Penn is more relaxed, despite having the weight of the world on his shoulders for some of the film.

The story is actually based on real events, detailed in Valerie Plame's memoir, Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House. How true the movie stays to what actually happens, I'm not so sure. It would likely be best to not assume that the film is entirely truthful, as with most films, liberties have to be taken to make the film compelling for the audience. It would be ignorant to believe that the film is entirely truthful, so if you decide to watch Fair Game, keep that in mind.

Not being entirely familiar with politics, American politics in particular, I'm not sure as to how much it defaces one side or the other, but there is certainly some badmouthing going on. I would almost think that having a film based almost entirely on American politics would make the film less interesting for those not knowledgeable about the subject, but thankfully, this doesn't happen. The film is still overall fairly enjoyable, even if politics aren't your forte.

Had it not been for a slow and somewhat confusing opening hour, Fair Game would have been an excellent film. The beginning is its only real problem, with everything else being top-notch. The acting performances are great, the story is interesting once it gets going, and you do begin to care about the characters. The set-up does its job, establishing the characters and setting, but it isn't engaging enough to keep the audience's attention. Push past it though, and you'll get a great final act, with tension, suspense and, most importantly, entertainment.

Release Date: 15 October 2010
Genre: Action | Biography | Drama
Cast: Naomi Watts, Sonya Davison, Vanessa Chong
Quality: DVDScr
Subtitle: Indonesia, English
Plame's status as a CIA agent was revealed by White House officials allegedly out to discredit her husband after he wrote a 2003 New York Times op-ed piece saying that the Bush administration had manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq

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Total Size 400 MB (.mkv)
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