“Snowden” Review ✦✦✧✧✧

10 December, 2016

Director: Oliver Stone
Screenwriter: Oliver Stone, Kieran Fitzgerald
Director of Photography: Anthony Dod Mantle
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rhys Ifans, Shailene Woodley

Synopsis: The true story of Edward Snowden who made headlines in June 2013 when he leaked top secret NSA documents to the press in order to expose the truth about government surveillance.

Snowden Review:

An endlessly topical story that somehow loses its sense of direction in the transition from news article to bestselling novel to Hollywood movie, “Snowden” is a clear victim of the ‘Oliver Stone’ effect which turns a fascinating tale of courage and selflessness into a mediocre biopic with one of the worst fact-based screenplays of the year.

“Snowden” is a choppy and rather underwhelming take on an event that shook the foundations of the Western world. It was an incident so unparalleled that it put into question how much information we are aware of as citizens while also exposing the lies we are fed on a daily basis. Edward Snowden not only opened the floodgates to a new level of public consciousness but he willingly sacrificed himself for a cause which couldn’t possibly benefit his own life, a step rarely taken by those with a high level of information at their disposal.

Where Laura Poitras’ remarkable documentary “Citizenfour” excellently chipped away at the man behind the madness, Stone’s biography turns the Snowden story into a lazy and sentimental piece of entertainment, putting it in direct conflict with everything Snowden represents as a man who took on the larger system. From the awful film score to the bizarre casting decisions and pacing issues, the film removes any room for sympathy as Snowden’s lack of interpersonal skills turn him into the gawky protagonist of his own life story. Despite having the ability to reveal the story to a wider audience, Stone’s biopic is a rushed and forgettable take on a topic that really needed to be high class in its execution.


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