It was just a couple weeks ago that I wrote a review about a movie that covered a historical event that occurred within the last decade. I remarked that it was interesting to see film interpret an event that was not only fully covered on television news but recorded on several cell phone cameras. I find it interesting that just a week later, a movie has come out that depicts very serious events that are still occurring. Starting with the tag that the movie is a dramatization of actual events rather than “based on a true story”, the movie Snowden follows the professional and personal life of Edward Snowden who is currently living in Russia under temporary asylum.
Snowden, the movie, flew under the radar for me so when I went to see it this week I had only the trailers to fall back on. In those scenes it seemed that Joseph Gordon Levitt was doing a poor impression of Edward Snowden but in the actual movie this was not the case. Levitt delivered a solid performance and really brought the man to life on the screen without overdoing it. This was confirmed when near the end of the film, the real Edward Snowden delivered an address to the audience and the voice matched up almost perfectly. This was true for the remainder of the expert cast as they all delivered fantastic performances. Especially Shailene Woodley who played Snowden’s girlfriend and a character that we don’t know much about going into this story.
Wherever you come down on the justification of Snowden’s actions, this film definitely wanted to show you why he was right. At times the movie even broke it’s normal flow to explain different CIA or NSA programs and why they were terrible. While this is a very important and responsible thing for the film to do, it did break up the flow at times. Personally I side with Oliver Stone and his team in educating the public in this matter. Many people don’t really understand, either by choice or by the general apathetic nature of the public, what Edward Snowden revealed but as a movie reviewer these scenes did mess with the overall feel of the movie.
By all accounts I feel that this movie should be listed as one of the top horror films of the year. Back in our movie podcast Trailer Park we commented on the scary way Oliver Stone told moviegoers to shut off their phones because they could ruin the lives of those around you. But as this film dramatized how these programs actually worked will have you taping up your webcams right away. This type of movie is a new thing and I would imagine a very tough needle to thread but Stone and his team execute it beautifully. I would definitely recommend seeing it as soon as possible.