FIRST LOOK: Stone's "Snowden" Injects Healthy Stealth as Everyone Becomes Puppets in Cyber Warfare

Updated 2 years ago by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
FIRST LOOK:  Stone's "Snowden" Injects Healthy Stealth  as Everyone Becomes Puppets in Cyber Warfare

Hero , Traitor , perhaps, either/or? Here cyber manipulation explodes as the equivalent of a nuclear device for which the security balancing freedom pendulum implodes in a world where data=$$$= control.  

Famed director of political thrillers, Oliver ("J.F.K.," "Nixon,") Stone seriously grapples with the dramatized bio of  security contractor, computer hacker and genius, Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) allowing viewers a mostly neutral, non-glorification image of the man who released millions of National Security Agency files revealing Big Brother can capture  your cell phone and computer cam location and imagery in real time.

Stone assumes Snowden's  'whistle-blowing' motivations from alleged discoveries that U.S. governmental surveillance projects have stretched past the early terrorist target intent intimately invading private lives of the nation's citizens without court approvals.

The director forgoes an intrepid depiction resolved to let circumstances present the case for each viewer. They are slanted toward the whistle-blower motivation, but viewers can easily foresee where he oversteps and harms the country's legitimate intelligence.

Significantly, the film does not postulate  ensuing damage to defense and related objectives from the man's actions, about which Congressional committees still wail. It concentrates on social and political aspects, not revealing that his actions released , for instance, Taliban related items and those concerning Iran.

That said, the intent of espionage slides buried off the table; instead, a wrongly motivated, idealist with a premeditated  desire to influence power becomes his greatest sin, though , Stone leaves ample ambiguity for a harsher assessment, but compresses timelines, for instance,  which would more  'dirty' or 'soil' Snowden's hands, not to mention allusions to the rise of Russian expertise in hacking. Humm, did Columbia Pictures turn this pitch down? 

FIRST LOOK:  Stone's "Snowden" Injects Healthy Stealth  as Everyone Becomes Puppets in Cyber Warfare
(c) Open Road

Facts presented demonstrate Snowden originally had a patriot's  ambition, shown through his special forces training injury and his rapidity of achievements prior to his decision to 'leak' data to the press. Did the explicitness of privacy invasions and not-so-subtle governmental hidden manipulations cause him to turn from 'patriot' to possible 'traitor,'  seeing the spoils of economic and social control?

Gordon-Levitt ("Looper," "Dark Knight Rises") contributes an absorbed Rubik's Cube spinning  inception of an atypical nerd. When waltzing with encryption and cyber elements he has confidence of a stud. He seldom dwells on the past or displays emotion, except when in the company of  his online dating met photographic artist girlfriend Lindsay  Mills  ( Shailene Woodle known for "Divergent," and "Fault in Our Stars"). The two have a chemistry hard to describe as they flip from typical gleeful lovers making choices to leaps where their devotion and trust suggest a logic maturity enjoyed by few. Otherwise, Gordon-Levitt communicates uneasiness through vocal tone, glances, occasional historic  references such as one at a yard party referring to criminals of the Second World War, and numerous painful  conversations with Lindsay.

The relationship maintains the strident 'out of life' glue necessary for "it's personal" impact.

FIRST LOOK:  Stone's "Snowden" Injects Healthy Stealth  as Everyone Becomes Puppets in Cyber Warfare
(c) Open Road

On the other hand, Stone nearly worships cooperating media players handing them the power of infinity to have the best interest of  readers/viewers (not corporations) as their foremost appetizing entree.

You walk out of the auditorium convinced that military industrial complex has been replaced by complexities of cyber warfare which can insidiously plant seeds to at will incapacitate infrastructure or pull a string on a puppet --- of which we all now are.

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