A year ago while reviewing the political thriller Fair Game, Susan Green decided to go further than merely telling us whether it dealt fairly and accurately with the Valerie Plame controversy. She took us then with an apt precision inside the appeal of conspiracy thrillers and political conspiracy.
Yet, for those of us with more reasoned fears, it’s often difficult to separate paranoia from heightened consciousness. To quote Kurt Cobain, who must have borrowed it from Joseph Heller’sCatch 22: “Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.” That certainly is the case for Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame in Fair Game, a sympathetic biographical film tracing the D.C. couple’s nightmare at the hands of the vindictive Bush administration. Although unseen except in genuine news footage, the chief perpetrators are Karl Rove and the even more powerful Dick Cheney (On a Baghdad battlefield, this contemporary Richard III might plead: “A heart, a heart. My kingdom for a heart!”). But the Central Intelligence Agency — where Plame is an undercover operative until exposed for devious purposes — comes across as a bastion of back-stabbers.