The NSA’s illegal surveillance techniques are leaked to the public by one of the agency’s employees, Edward Snowden, in the form of thousands of classified documents distributed to the press.
First of all, I was interested in the movie because when i saw the trailer, it tackled social media and the use of internet and coding and some tech stuff. I don’t consider myself as a computer nerd but I understand the jargons and I’m curious about how a computer works or a certain code can do so many things. I have never heard of Snowden and didn’t even know that it was the name of the lead character, Edward Snowden until I watched the film.
The first few minutes were engaging when it showed what is happening at the present time. I believe 90% of the whole film was spent on storytelling and flashbacks on how he came to do what he has done. The pacing was slow, sometimes even painfully slow that I felt it could have been better if they cut a few scenes or maybe made the dialogues more compelling to watch. There was a potential in the plot but I believe the writers and the director took their time to narrate the whole story to the point of almost boring the audience.
The actors were authentic in playing the characters. Joseph Gordon Levitt have some similarities with the real Snowden and I believe Shailene Woodley played the loving and understanding wife well. The supporting actors were ok but I think the cast could have been better. I didn’t like the supporting geek guy and I didn’t understand why Scott Eastwood was there. He definitely didn’t look like someone who would know anything about computers, let alone coding. And I swear everyone would say, what is Nicolas Cage doing in this film?
Judging on the technical elements, I must say they did a good job in editing and piecing the scenes together. It was an intellectual kind of film that if you blink for one second, you would miss a crucial part of the story. The colors that they used were great and the soundtrack was just fine. There were moments that could have made use of a more thrilling and suspenseful soundtrack or scoring but sadly, it lacked the punch.
Overall it’s a good movie but I’m torn if I’m going to recommend it or not. Just because of the absence of climactic moments, maybe just wait for it on DVD or Blu Ray. It’s more of a great documentary than an actual movie. I thought some of the scenes were dragging and unnecessary and there weren’t just enough powerful moments or breathtaking scenes. It’s engaging but was just slow at times. I know that the movie’s lesson is about privacy and it’s an important issue that needs to be addressed but my interest just wasn’t sustained until the end. I thought it was a singer with a great voice but lacked soul. You should watch it if you care about your privacy, if you’re interested about how the internet and hacking works and if you just want to watch a relevant film that concerns everyone.
“What is right is not always the same as what is legal” -Edward Joseph Snowden