#REVIEW: “OFFICIAL SECRETS”
Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
In the early 2000s, the administrations of George W. Bush and Tony Blair asserted that Saddam Hussein‘s weapons programs were still actively building weapons, and that large stockpiles of “weapons of mass destruction” were hidden in Iraq. Despite lack of evidence, President George W. Bush launched a second Gulf War. The war lasted four years and over 150,000 U.S. and British soldiers lost their lives. Katherine Gun, played Keira Knightley, had a job in a government translating service when an odd memo arrived in her email box, stating U.S. efforts to dirty trick the U.N. to approve the Iraq War. Already politically active and angry with Tony Blair blindly believing Bush, shared the memo with the British press. OFFICIAL SECRETS opens with Gun on trial for violation of the British “official secrets” law and quickly segues as to the circumstances that put her there.
This Political Thriller has many good things to admire. Knightley is effectively low-key and is admirably supported by a wonderful British Cast that include Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode, Rhys Ifans and Jeremy Northam. The Story moves at a brisk pace and I found the machinations regarding the British press fascinating. But it is impossible to watch OFFICIAL SECRETS without addressing the elephant in the room – the movie version of “All the President’s Men”. Whereas we all know the outcome of both these political versus the press stories, what OFFICIAL SECRETS lacks is the sense of urgency and excitement as significant events occur. This Movie is more “paint-by-the-numbers” than a Van Gogh. However, the performances by the highly skilled and watchable Cast are faultless and it is recommended viewing for political science fans or conspiracy theory aficionados.
eOne Films release OFFICIAL SECRETS Friday, September 13, 2019.