Disillusioned, desperate and idealistic. Oliver Stone’s film brings us the dramatised biopic of U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden. About to be accused of treason, Snowden illustrates the making of a traitor as we map the moments that lead to Edward Snowden’s heroic betrayal in this overly patriotic yet revelatory tale of freedom versus security.
The Social Network proved that tainted and biased biopics can be exciting, and can appear genuine in their nature. Combined with the knowledge that hacking can be coo,l demonstrated by possibly the worlds greatest cinematic success, Hackers, you’d think Snowden was in for a success…well…you’d be half right. A lot of reviews call the film drab and dull, often forced, and with too much focus on the lover affair between Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and long time girlfiend Lindsay Mills (Shailene Woodley). Yet I actually thought the film was exciting, interesting and brought the world of true espionage to exciting new ends.
The only thing holding Snowden back is the last half an hour, and especially the last five minutes. An exciting tale and character development led by a brilliant portrayal of real life Snowden by Levitt as well as the constant and consistent personality of Woodley, soon develops into God like devotion for the real man that brings vomit to the mouth. The final scene has real-life Snowden taking Levitts place whilst a heavenly glow emanates from behind his head during a ‘heroic’ and chillingly sickly speech about freedom. Stone managed to take a film I expected to hate into likable territory only to destroy it in one scene.
Despite some good performances and a decent attempt to turn nothing events exciting, Stone cannot escape the overt political motivation behind this film to create an entertaining and standalone piece. Instead of creating an entertaining picture, Stone has created a pretty decent propaganda piece. It’s good enough to watch, and I wouldn’t say no to a second viewing, but far too political for me to recommend as entertainment.
It’s now out on Blu-ray.
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