I watched this movie the other day and was pleasantly surprised. From the trailers I had no idea it was based on a book about an actual person or, in fact, that it would be any good. I'll be heading over to the library asap to get the book but I enjoyed the movie in its own right.
The movie tells of a covert operation in Afghanistan in the early 80s that helped to repel Soviet occupation of the region. The story is extremely compelling and the acting more than serviceable but what really blew my skirt up was Mike Nichols' directing. Holy shite, it was like the man had a string that was connected to my head and my heart which he could pull on gently saying, "I want them here!" And I was with him the whole way.
Charlie Wilson doesn't exactly have the typical personality one imagines for a humanitarian. Mirroring that, the movie doesn't have the typical attitude of cinema geared towards social commentary. It's earnest for sure but not sentimental or a straight-up satire. Really, it's a brand new way of looking at a story and it rocked my socks. I didn't know if I should laugh, cry, or bang my head against a wall until it was bloody. Weird, I know, but you've got to trust me on this one and see the movie.
Charlie Wilson said, "These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world...and then we fucked up the end game."
And for those of you following sgwordy's unofficial, impromptu, and arguably not well thought out series on humanitarian issues I think this goes right along with it.