Official Secrets has a lot of people giving it pretty high reviews, but I’m not. The movie had the potential to be so much more. Based on a true story. Real life spy/espionage. Governmental abuse of power. This had the potential to be way better than Smiley’s People.
What’s Wrong with Official Secrets
I had prepared myself for the “vibrant shades of beige” that tends to be British drama. I’ve watched Smiley’s People quite a few times after all. The lack of action British spy story can be done well as Smiley’s People proves. Official Secrets didn’t live up to that which came before.
I waited quite a few months before writing this review. Honestly, I don’t like shitting on movies that have Matt Smith, Keira Knightley, or Matthew Goode in them. Those actors are surprisingly gifted at choosing roles they can excel in. Honestly, I thought quite a bit about why this went off the rails for me when it should have been great. After much debate I have finally come to the conclusion of what is wrong.
It’s a Chick Flick
Yes, this is all about outing the fact “Weapons of Mass Destruction” was nothing short of criminal fraud cooked up by the U.S government with the Brits helping to spin. Yes, the world was sold a bill of goods so snot-nosed George could fight “daddy’s war.” I’m all for any movie that wants to tell that tale.
It seems like the studio decided to put 90% of the “drama” into telling the story about the government’s efforts to depart the fiance of Keira Knightley’s character instead of the drama of the investigation and court prep. I would have liked to see more of the double-back, blind-drop, spy craft stuff. Instead we got romance.