If somebody who is much more powerful than you, but is part of the group that you serve throughout your career, deceitfully set you up and spread lies about you, would you fight? Or would you accept it as part of the parcel and tries to move on?
This is what happens to Valerie Plame Wilson (Naomi Watts), a CIA Operations Officer and her husband, a former ambassador called Joseph (Joe) Wilson (Sean Penn).
The invasion of Iraq in 2003 is based on the premise that the US and the UK find some proof of Iraq developing some uranium enhancement capability and that they are amassing a large number of the now-ridiculed “weapons of mass destructions”. Valerie Plame is in the thick of an investigations by the CIA on the possibility of Saddam’s nuclear weapons development. When Iraq is suspected of purchasing a large amount of uranium “yellowcake” from Niger, Joe is commissioned by the CIA to investigate – having great level of knowledge of the countries there.
Although Joe’s report mentions the impossibility of the trade in such a large volume, the Bush Administration conveniently turns it around and uses it as the proof that Iraq is purchasing a large amount of uranium from Africa. On top of this, the purchase of aluminium pipes from China is also linked to the possibility of them being used to develop nuclear weapons. Joe refuses to stay still and writes a letter to the newspaper, stating the truth. This triggers the action by Scooter Libby, the Assistant to the Vice President, to disclose the identity of Valerie Plame as an CIA operative, to discredit Joe Wilson. Joe wants to fight back, whereas Valerie initially wants to let things pass …
What would you do when the machine that you serve suddenly turns against you and set you up?
Fair Game is taut and very convincingly acted and directed – Doug Liman, the director of “The Bourne Identity” is the man behind the camera for the movie. The handheld direction in the initial scenes can be quite disconcerting, however it shows the tension and the confusion effectively. Both Sean Penn and Naomi Watts are also terrific in this film. One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when Joe shouts Valerie’s name to drown her anger and frustration – to illustrate the tactic that the Bush Administration is using to discredit the Wilsons by influencing the media and drowning with posts, reports, blogs that outvoice the Wilsons’ fight.
Lord Acton once said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” What the Bush Administration did to Valerie Plame is an example of this.