Fair Game Blu-ray

IJoe Wilson was a retired ambassador who replied publically to allegations of his involvement in the basis for the U.S. war on Iraq and subsequently White House officials revealed his wife was a CIA agent.

Film making 20/25
Video 22/25
Audio 22/25
Bonus Features 10/25
Total 74/100

Fair Game

When Valerie Plame was given the Middle East assignment as a CIA agent covering intelligence gathering for the area including Iraq much of the information leading to the War on Iraq came through her. Or that was the idea but when the CIA asked her husband the former ambassador to Niger to visit the area and find out if Iraq received nuclear materials things got interesting.

On July 6, 2003 in the New York Times Joe Wilson wrote an opinion editorial that asked the questions of why the United States went to war with Iraq. Joe Wilson’s trip to Niger was to determine if the country sold Iraq nuclear materials and in his opinion Iraq did not purchase yellowcake uranium ore from Niger.

He reported this through the CIA to the Vice President’s office and a week later Valerie Plame was revealed as a CIA operative by White House officials. Eventually the truth about Valerie Plame’s role and her husbands was revealed but their family was nearly destroyed in the interim.

Even now we don’t have a full telling of who is to blame but with things at the top levels of Washington we may never know who ordered who to do what. Suffice it to say that Irve Lewis “Scooter” Libby took most of the blame and received no actual jail time but a felony conviction and a ruined career.

Revealing that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent seemed to be a try at directing attention away from the idea that the White House wanted the war with Iraq but had no effective reasons. Joe Wilson and Valerie were both angry at the idea that anyone in government service would knowingly reveal the identity of an agent that was undercover for any reason.

The identity of Valerie as an agent and her work with current operations could have put lives in danger but we may never know if this did happen due to the secretive nature of the CIA. The film Fair Game follows the beginning of Valerie Plame’s life at the CIA and the entire time from Joe Wilsons visit to Niger through to the aftereffects of their fight for the truth.

Fair Game does a great job of describing the impact of her secret work being uncovered in such a public way and the possible problems that could have occurred to people she was working with. It will probably never be known if anyone she was helping to flee Iraq at the time as the film shows was impacted but this is the most obvious problem with revealing an agents identity.

The film does show the impact on their lives as they try to keep their marriage together and make some semblance of normalcy in the aftermath of the media frenzy that ensued. Following the media response in so many ways they also show the conviction of Scooter Libby and after to show what has happened in their lives.

The film is in its own right an espionage drama and has some intrigue and drama but only the kind that a real life event brought to the big screen can. The action is not here as the film is truly based and mostly a real life account of the facts and in the actions of the life of a CIA agent in such a high rank.

The Bourne Identity director Doug Liman did a great job with the facts and squeezing them into an action drama based more on real life than fiction. You may not get the action of The Bourne Identity but the drama of a spy thriller is here and just knowing it really did happen adds a lot of intrigue.

Audio and Video are very good and even the realistic scenes in countries like Niger are great looking and sounding, audio and video are close to perfect. I had no problems believing the video was both real and intentionally realistic for all its general flatness.

Video had more of a subdued flatness in tone and colors making it seem all the more realistic while audio had a great surround and music track. Audio was great with clear voice and good surround that makes other films look almost amateur when you hear general clamor in several office scenes that really give you the feel of being there.

Bonus content is a disappointment, sort of, as the only additional content is audio commentary from the real Valerie Plame Wilson and Joe Wilson. While this may not be a large feature it is one that stands out as the bare minimum for this film and a noteworthy one.

Fair Game is a great film historically and gives you the bare details of the lead up to the Iraq war as it happens for some of the players and politicians. Valerie Plame was a real CIA agent and having her identity revealed publically was a crime but only one man paid for it.

The aftermath of the events following make for good drama regardless of what happened and the film does a great job portraying this. Fair game is well worth a rental and for history fans and ones who enjoy a great acting job by two talented actors well worth purchasing.

Fair Game Website