Snowden

By Angie Raphael

If you never paid much attention to Edward Snowden in the media and you missed the documentary Citizenfour, the film Snowden is a good dramatisation of his story with the basic information covered. Told through a series of flashbacks but rooted in June 2013, the protagonist (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is staying in a Hong Kong hotel where he shares thousands of classified NSA documents with journalists Laura Poitras (Melissa Leo), Glenn Greenwald (Zachary Quinto) and Ewen MacAskill (Tom Wilkinson). Director and co-writer Oliver Stone portrays Snowden as a little too noble and good to be true. It is still a work of fiction based on a true story, so it does not have to be objective, but some balance would have made Snowden a fuller film. Gordon-Levitt gives an understated performance, while the supporting cast is very good including Rhys Ifans, Timothy Olyphant and Nicolas Cage. Unfortunately, Gordon-Levitt's chemistry with Shailene Woodley, who plays Snowden's girlfriend, feels forced. The real Snowden's appearance at the end shows his endorsement, but the film is a little too long with a running time of about two hours and 15 minutes. Nonetheless, if people are not freaked out enough about personal security, Snowden serves as a stark reminder. 


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