Film Review: Fair Game

ALTHOUGH it was advertised as being a new film by Doug Liman director of The Bourne Identity, Fair Game is a very different kind of movie.

True, it begins with scenes featuring the work abroad of CIA agent Valerie Plame and that could suggest an action drama. But the story told here is a true one.

It centres on the attempt to destroy Valerie Plame’s career after her husband, Joseph Wilson, had published a report of his findings in Niger.

That was a report which stood in contradiction to the notions of the American State Department regarding the sale there of enriched uranium to Iraq. The Eastbourne Film Society, which presents this film next Wednesday, 29th February, at the Curzon Cinema, is not afraid to offer a film linked to the subject of Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction.

That’s so despite the fact that movies on this theme have been commercially unsuccessful.

Although Fair Game failed to change that, it is a fine film and one superbly acted by Naomi Watts as Valerie and by Sean Penn as her husband.

It should perhaps be stressed that this film is at its very best when exploring the tensions between husband and wife that arose from the question of how far to respond to the attempts to discredit them (Joseph wanted to fight back, Valerie was concerned as to how their children might suffer from being in the limelight).

The story of these two people and of what happened to them makes for compelling viewing.

The revelations in the film, as in the books on which it was based, will give satisfaction to those who feel that in this country too many people have been allowed to get off the hook regarding Iraq and the weapons supposed to exist there.