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Reviews for A Political Biographical Thriller – Snowden

Recently we got a chance to watch English movie Snowden. The name of Edward Snowden is not unfamiliar for those who keeps track of world affairs. While some people consider him a whistleblower who have sacrificed a lot at personal end, for the greater good of his country; some sees it from opposite end. Whatever your doubt it, but when someone talks about “personal freedom v/s government keeping an eye on all activities”, his name pops up as much as Julian Asange of Wikileaks.

It is the boon and beauty of democracy that you are allowed to present your views about a particular incident, thing, person or a campaign even if you are opposing the rulers.

Movie : Snowden
Director :
Oliver Stone
Based on :
The Snowden Files by Luke Harding


Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena
Screenplay by : ,
Music By : Songs: Craig Armstrong
Editors : Alex Marquez, Lee Percy
Cinematography : Anthony Dod Mantle
Production Companies : Endgame Entertainment, Wild Bunch, KrautPack Entertainment, Onda Entertainment, Vendian Entertainment,
Distributed by : Open Road Films
Release Date : (TIFF),
Starring : Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Edward Snowden), Edward Snowden (himself – cameo), Shailene Woodley (Lindsay Mills), Melissa Leo (Laura Poitras), Zachary Quinto (Glenn Greenwald), Tom Wilkinson (Ewen MacAskill), Scott Eastwood (Trevor James), Logan Marshall-Green (Male Drone Pilot), Timothy Olyphant (CIA Agent Geneva), Ben Schnetzer (Gabriel Sol), LaKeith Lee Stanfield (Patrick Haynes), Rhys Ifans (Corbin O’Brian), Nicolas Cage (Hank Forrester), Joely Richardson (Janine Gibson), Robert Firth (Dr. Stillwell), and others…

Oliver Stone was actually working on other project which was eventually got delayed and hence he took the challenge to work on a movie based on Edward Snowden. For this purpose he took two books as his reference.

  1. The Snowden Files by Luke Harding
  2. Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena

He personally met the Edward Snowden and the team responsible for interviewing him for The Guardian to collect and verify details. Eventually all of them are agreed and the movie was made.

Official Trailer:

Book Plot:

Edward Snowden (former CIA/NSA employee) arranged a private meeting in Hong Kong with documentarian Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald. They discuss releasing the classified information in Snowden’s possession regarding illegal mass surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). This incident took place in 2013.

The entire story then starts from the year 2014. It was when Snowden was getting his training for US Army. Eventually he got fractured in his leg and he have to leave his dreams to join the army. He, being a sharp minded was have alternates to serve his country. His appoints were done in CIA and then he eventually joins NSA.

He got to know a lot about how the security agencies are working. The authorities have decided to overlook every conversation and communication in order to prevent any security threat to motherland. Snowden needed to develop a system to take backup of some stuff stored on their servers in other countries. What he found is the organization got the power to shutdown the things at major scale! Eventually he found a lot of other things which are playing with the privacy of people. He decided to be a whistleblower.

How he moves ahead in his plan and how his personal life is affected via his actions, is the rest of the story.

Views and Reviews:

Let us talk about the movie from cinematic perspective only. In that aspect the movie script is written in pretty much engaging manner. It never loses the focus. Though there are no larger than the life scenes were possible in the movie, the smooth execution never makes you feel that you are missing them.

With right setup, background music and prompt acting you can create thrills effective, the meeting between Snowden an the Guardian team scenes in hotel are proof of that.

The locations are chosen thoughtfully and it gives the feel of authenticity to the movie content.

All of the actors have tried hard to work effectively and provide justice to the character they are playing. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is first rate as Edward Snowden, he is the top performer of them all. At the same time, all of the other actors are effective too.

Makers needs to be appreciated for attempt to make a movie on such relevant topic. As, I said earlier, it is the beauty of (real) democracy, which facilitate it. If you are not in the IT field then also, at the end of the movie, it will provoke a thought in you that “does your privacy compromised?”.

In our blind run to remain connected through social media almost 24×7, we are inviting intruders to keep a watch on us. There is nothing which is untraceable. And yes, there are people who have habit to keep their computer systems ON 24×7. They should be getting a warning with the movie. Actually, the love making scene of the movie, actually provokes a thought (though Snowden’s character) that, are these private moments really private?

Well there are no two thoughts on the the idea that the national security should not be compromised at all. And the terrorists and their activities should be monitored. However we must understood that the rules are made for the betterment of the people and we cannot put the humanity at strike. There should be a boundary, and it is tough to draw the boundary.

The content of the movie reminds (at various places) of Digital Fortress (book) by Dan Brown.

Here are some relevant videos which you may like to watch.

The Snowden files — the inside story of the world’s most wanted man | Luke Harding | TEDxAthens

DOCUMENTARY: Edward Snowden – Terminal F (2015) by Freedom of Speech and Expression

Edward Snowden: ‘I’m willing to make a lot of sacrifices for my country’ by The Guardian


In terms of movie, it is really well made movie, and it is worth watching for sure.

Over to you:

Did you watch this movie? Which part of the movie you like the best? What is the most effective scene of the movie according to you? Is there anything you want to share about this movie or this article? Do not hesitate, go ahead and leave your comments below. And yes, do not forget to share this article with your friends over various social networks via Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and others. And yes, you may like to subscribe to our RSS feeds and follow us on various Social networks to get latest updates for the site to land right in your mail box.

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