Snowden (Sidenote: I Saw the Light)


(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)

Snowden is an interesting political movie with a great performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt; the drama may seem slow at times, but it is bound to spark a political debate on what is right and wrong!!!

Rating: 4 Stars

If there is one guy that can create movies that dives into the real problems in many different aspects of our society, it’s Oliver Stone. This guy loves to set the bar high in his films with controversy and creativity. My first film of his that I watched was Any Given Sunday. That movie opened my eyes as Stone exposes the inside lives of a professional football team. It was interesting and fun to watch the different characters developed with their own real problems but still unite to become an effective team. Yes, Stone can go over the top, but you can’t deny his creativity will speak volumes through your mind as you watch his film and understand his message. Other films I enjoyed from him are Wall Street, JFK, and Nixon. He doesn’t always make films that are great, but you can respect his art in the film world. So when I heard he was doing a film about Edward Snowden, I was immediately in. The story of Snowden interested me, and I wanted to see a first-hand look at how it went down with his life as a worker for the US government and security. I knew Stone will tell a great story at the very least, and he didn’t disappoint.

What I Like: Director Oliver Stone’s creativity and crazy editing. The way he structured the story was a way for us to be engaged at all times and really made me invested in finding out who Edward Snowden really was. It is not an Oliver Stone film without controversy. He portrayed Snowden as a hero by exposing the government in unethical security breaches that invaded privacy not only for the US, but the world. It made it seem that America was definitely in the wrong by what Snowden exposed to the world. It definitely can spark some interesting political discussions with one another after you watch this film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt played Edward Snowden, and I thought he did an awesome job playing the controversial character. I thought he captured his mannerisms very well. I liked how he was portrayed as a very smart computer technician who just wanted to serve his country after being discharged by the Army due to injury, but realizing that what US National Security is doing is completely wrong. There were some thrilling scenes especially when Snowden tries to sneak out with all the information from the government by hiding it in a rubix cube. I also enjoyed the chemistry between Snowden and his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills played by Shailene Woodley. Their chemistry definitely looked genuine and she worked well as his voice of reason to do the right thing.

The So So: As I said before, I liked how Oliver Stone made it to start controversy and political debates. However, I thought his argument in the film was completely one sided. He really made the US the downright enemy and bashing President Barack Obama (personally I think it is more of George W. Bush’s fault, but that’s just my opinion). He made Snowden a hero in this film, but is he really a hero or a traitor? Stone already made his case, but I see both ends of the spectrum in this case.

What I Didn’t Like: Some of the drama scenes can be a drag sometimes. When they start talking about computer technology, technicalities in security, and all that political jargon, it can get a little exhausting. At least it came in small doses to not completely lose your attention.

Overall: I thought the film was very interesting with some great acting and creativity by director Oliver Stone. Yes, his message may be one sided in this film, but I believe watching this film can create a lot of discussion about Snowden and whether he is a hero or a traitor to the US. The argument is up to you all (feel free to comment on this debate), and you can make your own decision about the main character!!!

Rating: 4 Stars


(Sidenote: I Saw the Light- This biopic film stars Tom Hiddleston as country singer Hank Williams. I thought Hiddleston acted and sang very well in this film, and really gave some great emotion to his character in his ups and downs as a country singer. With that said, I thought the movie really dragged on, and really didn’t give that emotional sense of suffering in this guy’s life. To me it would’ve made this movie watchable for me. You have to make a movie about country music not boring, and unfortunately, it was for me!!!
Rating: 2.5 Stars)



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