Charlie Wilson’s War and Sweeny ToddFebruary 14, 2008
Have been very negligent over the last couple weeks of writing about the films I have seen so playing catch up here…
For me this film was more about reminiscing for me than anything. I remember Dan Rather’s broadcasts about the Afghan war after the Soviet Invasion and the Stinger missiles that were used to bring down the helicopter gunships. Of course at the time Charlie Wilson wasn’t mentioned so the back story is quite interesting.
Tom Hanks is good as the senator but I don’t think that he was given the chance to expand the character- to use a western expression he was hog-tied. The story itself was well written but if felt like it glossed over too many things and that some parts were only included to name drop and trying to simplify how the events back then have caused the current Gulf situation. It has to be said that Philip Seymour Hoffman stole the show here- his cynical spook character is spot on and provides a solid grounding for the story.
Mixed thoughts on this one- I do like Burtons work but just couldn’t get use to being in this world.
The casting is superb- Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are the perfect if obvious choices for the leads along with Timothy Spall and Alan Rickman. A surprise for me was Sacha Baron Cohen- the role is similar to some of his others but quite amusing for the moments he is on screen. The singing voices are decent enough and while I knew it was a musical I really enjoyed some of the moments where they weren’t singing.
Great story but sometimes I felt my attention wondering- some of the songs felt like fillers for the story really wasn’t going anywhere. As well, there are really no surprises in the film- it is easy to guess what the apparent surprises are from the very first moment you see the character and I spent the rest of the film wondering when it would be revealed.
There are some excellent scenes in the film though- where the young sailor is taken off the street by the Judge, the shop scene where Sweeny Todd and Mrs. Lovett are sizing up the ‘meat’ and the dream sequence from Mrs Lovett is superb.