Saturday, 7 July 2018

SNOWDEN

I really enjoyed this outing from Oliver Stone. It's a very tricky topic of course, dealing with Big Brother, surveillance, security, perceived threats and one man's drive to try to put things 'right'. Whatever your politics or thoughts on how true to life it is, it certainly makes for a great thriller that will have you reaching for your Delete Account button on Social Media and going back to a feature phone!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Ed Snowden on his quest to clean things up and is excellent throughout. I hardly recognised his voice from previous roles in Third Rock from the Sun and The Walk. When we see some footage at the end of the real man, you realise what a good job was done. He is ably supported by Shailene Woodley as his girlfriend, and a bunch of other very capable actors.

The story turns into a bit of a cat-and-mouse game between the American authorities and Snowden as they try to track him down before does too much bean spilling and gets an outraged public on his side! The film flits back and forth between the timeline and his hotel bedroom in Hong Kong later on, where he's working with journalists from The Guardian to publish an exposure of what it is claimed has been going down.

It's pretty gripping in parts, with a difficult relationship storyline thrown in largely around trust between people involved with each other when one of them has a job that is so top secret that they can't tell them anything about their work. That part of the film is handled well, dovetails into the main thrust of the story and doesn't become trodden underfoot nor dominant.

The direction is, as we've come to expect, excellent, the camerawork interesting and sets (if they are to be believed) very James Bond! There is at times a feeling of the proceedings having been Hollywoodised but that shouldn't detract from the story being well put together, documented and executed. It's an excellent thriller and well worth watching.

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