Often, there are some brilliantly-made films that don’t get big theatrical releases. However, now there is a way for you to watch these films at exclusive screenings. Head over to Vkaao and stay updated about the latest films coming to PVR theatres near you. We loved watching Official Secrets at one such PVR screening.
Verdict: A gut-wrenching film where the cost of revealing a shocking truth is a person’s life.
Directed by Gavin Hood, Official Secrets is based on the life of popular British whistleblower Katharine Gun who leaked a top-secret document that went on to expose the US and British government’s illegal attack on Iraq. The film is inspired by the book based on Gun’s life titled The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War by Marcia & Thomas Mitchell.
What’s Official Secrets About:
This film takes you back to the time just before the United States-led coalition invaded Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s reign in 2003. We soon met the hero of this film Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley) who works as a translator at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Britain. While at work, Katharine receives a shocking memo that suggests that the UK is aiding the US in arm-twisting members of the United Nations into voting in favor of the Iraq War. The argument that the US makes is that the Saddam Hussein government is making weapons of mass destruction. However, there is little to no proof of such activity in Iraq, making the war technically illegal. Gun gathers the courage to leak this top-secret memo to the press in order to try and stop the war. In doing so, she violates the Official Secrets Act.
Keira Knightley delivers a strong performance and does justice to her role as Katharine Gun. Her tough decision to betray her country affects her personal life with her Muslim husband Yasar played by Palestinian actor Adam Bakri. Bakri does a splendid job and supports Keira’s role to the tee. There are some very impactful moments in the film. At one point, Katharine tells the police detective who accuses her of being a spy, “I do not collect information so that the government can lie to the British people.”
What Could’ve Been Better:
The film lacks a certain finesse as far as the cinematography is concerned. There are a few cliched scenes and the script could have been slightly tighter in places.
Why You Should Watch:
Official Secrets reveals a lesser-known truth about a war that affected the lives of millions of innocent people. It makes for a compelling watch and you will be hooked throughout the film.