Afghan Gal (Movie Thoughts: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot)

5532-movie-posterTina Fey is one of my favorite comediennes, and writers. I just *get* her humor (and I have spoken to people who don’t)  But I was quite disappointed by her performance in “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” where she plays Kim Baker. The movie is based on the book “The Taliban Shuffle,” written by Kim Barker (with an r) based on her experiences working  as a reporter in Afghanistan. In some ways, Kim is very similar to a lot of Fey’s characters, you know, the typical neurotic New Yorker who is self-deprecating but zany. Fey tones down the zany here, probably because this is supposed to be one of those vehicles wherein the comedic actress tries her hand at being serious. It just didn’t work. While watching the movie, I couldn’t help but recasting he role in my head (Perhaps Reese Whiterspoon or Sandy Bullock?) I think the role needs an actress with a little more gravita – there’s something behind Fey’s eyes here that are dead, and I never believed her.

And the film is a little disjointed. I kept on wondering it’s point. Does chasing a story makes a reporter compromise his values? Is it showing the horrors of war? I felt unsatisfied after watching it. I felt like it didn’t have a beating heart. (We might point that again to Fey’s ineffectiveness)  I am sure the book was powerful, and there could have been an effective movie adaptation there. Sadly, this isn’t it.

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