RELEASED 2016 RUNTIME 112 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION GLENN FICARRA, JOHN REQUA SCREENPLAY ROBERT CARLOCK STARRING TINA FEY, MARGOT ROBBIE, MARTIN FREEMAN, ALFRED MOLINA, BILLY BOB THORNTON, CHRISTOPHER ABBOTT, SHEILA VAND, NICHOLAS BRAUN, STEVE PEACOCKE MUSIC NICK URATA
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a dromedy (drama + comedy) and true life story of Kim Baker (Tina Fey), a journalist who in 2004 went to Afghanistan in order to report on the Marines’ efforts to restore the countries piece an order.
First of all, I didn’t know anything about the story going in. I never heard of Kim Baker, neither have I read her column in the New York Times at that time. And for some reason I thought the story would be more dramatic. But essentially it is a really lighthearted movie about a woman who goes on to report in a war driven country, but finds herself forming a new life outside of her home country.
There is a lot of comedy and funny situational humor involved the way the story is told, but it never feels silly or over the top. While some lines seem very corny, most of it works and feels the way western people from certain cultures would behave amongst such an environment like Afghanistan.
On the other side, we have some romance and drama, which never gets heavy and daunting. But it definitely sticks out.
The cast is pretty stellar. It involves Tina Fey, Margot Robbie (mhhh…), Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina and Billy Bob Thornton. They all do a fine job with their material and make for good characters.
Something about Alfred Molina as the Afghan president seems odd though. Can’t quite nail it, but maybe it has something to do with his mullet.
Btw. I have to point out the Hollywood whitewash with his character. Just sayin’. It’s an important issue and I will continue to point stuff like that out in all my reviews. Hollywood, stop casting white people in minority roles!
It’s weird because the environment and the sets are exceptionally well realized with Arabic people cast as Afghan side characters and extras. But that makes Alfred Molina stand out even more.
The biggest thing going for the movie is not the plot though, nor the characters, but the setting. Really, the movie would be very generic and by the numbers, if it wasn’t for the interesting setting in Afghanistan. It looks very real to a point that I really thought they shot the movie in Afghanistan, which would have been pretty ballsy, considering current circumstances. However, in the credits it says that they shot it in Spain. Too bad, really.
But still, the world feels very believable and is the most interesting subject of the movie. It gives you great inside into the Afghan society and people, which is incredibly important in a movie like this. Plus, I’m a sucker for authenticity and culture driven story aspects.
I feel like I understand the country a little bit better now, which I think is of high value anytime you can say that about a movie.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a fine little film that you can enjoy on a rainy day, especially, when you are interested in the country of Afghanistan, which can be quite difficult to get in nowadays and dangerous, at least for Western people.
As for the plot, it’s ok. It’s very by the numbers and nothing you will miss out on. I don’t really get why a movie about Kim Baker had to be made in the first place. Sure, she reported on Afghanistan, but so did bunch of other people. Call me ignorant, but even, if Kim Baker did something extraordinary, the movie never really makes you feel like she did, so why bother? Read her column instead.