Film of the Day (09/19/18): Snowden


Written By Kieran Fitzgerald and Oliver Stone
Directed By Oliver Stone

It was the biggest case of whistleblowing in history, and in the eyes of many, one of the most important reveals ever. When Edward Snowden blew the doors off of the vast scope of the United States programs of spying on everyone everywhere, he condemned himself to a life on the lam, living out his days abroad under political asylum was the best case scenario. Fortunately, that’s what he received (for now), as he sits in Russia, observing what his country has become thanks to work he did and the risks he took to expose everything. I wish people cared more about this subject, because it is a really big deal. The issue with this film, for me, is that it doesnt come across like much of a big deal either, because it seems to be following some paint by numbers political thriller format, and often looks like a random, slick Hollywood production of any random subject, as opposed to the story behind one of the biggest, most wide-reaching debate topics in history. Gordon-Levitt does a great job as Snowden, in a toned-down role that he clearly took very seriously. Stone does a decent enough job directing, but you can’t help but wish the younger version had a story like this to work with. Stone used to be fearless, and while this isn’t a scared work, it just doesn’t show the teeth that the story demands, and the issues start with the script. I definitely didn’t hate it, but I hoped for much more.

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