A Rubik’s Cube of secrets.
Oliver Stone is back behind the camera after a four-year hiatus, and the fact that this fearless filmmaker was initially reluctant to tell the true story of US government whistleblower Edward Snowden should be recommendation enough to check out his latest political thriller.
Snowden found himself on the most wanted list along with Julian Assange, after leaking classified documents to the media in 2013 that exposed illegal surveillance practices by the NSA. It’s the perfect material for Stone, who favours controversial figures and issues.
The story begins in 2004. Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is determined to serve his great country in any way possible, after being discharged from the United States Army Reserve due to injury. He soon finds himself working for the CIA and NSA, impressing them with his extraordinary computer skills (cue lots of technological jargon).
Upon discovering numerous illegal security breaches running within the system, Snowden begins to question the morality of the agencies he serves, and is faced with an ethical dilemma.
Gordon-Levitt delivers an utterly convincing performance as the introverted Snowden, and shares genuine chemistry with co-star Shailene Woodley, who plays his girlfriend.
Whether you’re familiar with Snowden’s story or not, Stone has delivered a tense and nail-biting experience that raises disturbing and pertinent questions concerning government surveillance in our constantly connected world.
It’s time to double check your privacy settings and look over your shoulder, because there is no doubt you’ll leave the cinema with the feeling that someone is watching your every move.
In cinemas: September 22, 2016
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Rhys Ifans
Directed by: Oliver Stone