Fair Game [Blu-Ray] Doug Liman

Fair Game [Blu-Ray] Doug Liman
On the Blu-Ray commentary track with real life Fair Game subjects Valerie Plame Wilson and Joe Wilson, they make the statement, "they did a good job of condensing four years of our lives into an hour-and-45 minutes." What's interesting about this statement is that, while fair and astute from their perspective, seeing that this is a traditional narrative about experiences in their lives, this condensing of copious amounts of information is both the success and failure of this idealistic political thriller. Essentially, the film is about what happened to undercover C.I.A. officer Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) after she was "outed" when ex-diplomat husband Joe Wilson (Sean Penn) wrote an article exposing that the U.S. government declared war on Iraq under false pretences. The rift in their marriage and impending media chaos propel both the conflict and narrative hurdle of this story, while the complexity stems from Plame's internal struggles over a ruined career and the reality that her many international sources and contacts are now endangered by the exposure. It's just that it takes an hour to get to this point. While necessary for purposes of context and accuracy, most of the runtime is spent on Wilson's trip to Niger to investigate the possibility of yellowcake being sold to Iraq, as well as Plame's international dealings, leveraging terrorist associations for information and reluctant allies. Interspersed are occasional dinner parties with Wilson saying something pretentious like, "I pronounce it Knee-gere," but mostly it's necessary, but thematically void, exposition. Fair Game is still, essentially, an effective, engaging thriller, but it might have been served better with a miniseries treatment or a more experimental non-linear narrative. On the other hand, the latter political posturing proves problematic, suggesting that this rare example of the polemical individual making a positive difference is the norm rather than an extremely rare exception, giving dangerous gumption to folks that might be better served to read a little more before getting involved with things they don't understand. (eOne)