Oliver Stone is not a man to shy away from a confronting topic. His movies – some hit and miss – often adopted angles that closely examined humanity, war and the consequences of our sometimes brutal actions. Critics, in recent times, have often labelled Stone as a conspiracy theorist or far left in his approach. But as Stone has said in past interviews, it is important to examine the role of America in the context of world events and what it means for humanity.
It wasn’t surprising when Stone announced his latest movie project, Snowden. If anything, his establishment haggling and questioning of government agenda made him the more qualified to tackle the task.
Snowden was well received at the Toronto Film Festival this year. Critics suggested that the likelihood of an Emmy nomination or two, was high: Stone, it seems, created a masterpiece in his documenting of Edward Snowden’s life and the lead up to his actions that made him a whistleblower.
Snowden, as the movie starts out, is a Special Forces wannabe who discovers other options available to him, after an accident, to serve his country. As the story goes, Stone correctly accounts in scene after scene the surveillance state, the “big ass rubber stamp” that the United States employs to create said state, and the personal dilemmas that Snowden faces. The movie asks the big questions about where we are heading on a global scale, and if you are a person who can read between the lines – the answers aren’t of the warm and fuzzy variety.
It is a typical Oliver Stone flick; in that it is more an account of melodrama rather than thriller. The focus is more on the details, not boom-in-your-face action. But saying that, Snowden accurately describes the details of the saga that unfolded for the world and tackles in its undertones, the divided opinion of if Snowden is a hero or a traitor.
The importance of the release of Snowden goes beyond Hollywood, it focuses on the personal story and the sacrifice one man made for his country, as a 29 year old. The pivotal actions of one man telling the world that Big Brother is very real – in the form of American agencies’ – will no doubt be cemented in American and world history. The warning is constant. Stone refuses to shy away from the political implications and controversy that will no doubt ignite from this film.
Stone permits the audience their opinion, encouraging them to educate themselves, without shadowing the movie in too much bias. Contrary, Stone goes out of his way to present the story ‘as is,’ narrating a story about surveillance and warfare, as well as Edward Snowden, whistleblower. If you liked Born of the Fourth of July and you have a grasp of current world politics, this will only enhance your love for Oliver Stone’s storytelling in a language everyone can understand. This was no easy feat to document, for Stone. No one should underestimate the importance of this movie and what it may mean when we have the benefit of hindsight.
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