We’ll all pretend that we don’t know it’s an acronym.
There. Now that
that’s out of the way----
Tina Fey is known as a comedienne extraordinaire, and she
is. And perhaps
because she’s the main character, it’s billed as a comedy.
But it really isn’t.
Based on a true story, it’s about an American
journalist’s foray into Afghanistan ten years ago,
at a time when the American troops were routinely facing
enemy fire from elements of the Taliban.
Kim Baker (Tina Fey) was at a place in her career where she
was just kinda stuck. She
even felt stuck on the same treadmill in her workout place.
She just wasn’t going anywhere.
She felt that going overseas would broaden her horizons,
and it sure did. She
was not really prepared for the strictures on the way women dress,
in a patriarchal culture where women were routinely belittled,
subjugated, and even harassed.
She was not used to seeing children begging in the streets,
and shocked to discover some of them were running cons on
unsuspecting tourists. Not
that it was exactly a tourist’s paradise:
it was actually a war zone.
But the journalists coming from all over the world formed
their own little tight-knit community, which wasn’t exactly a
Sunday School picnic. There
was a lot of drinking, more than a little carousing, and even some
drug use. The elements
of personal danger probably added to the impulse to “eat, drink,
and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” The reporters had their
personal hierarchies and professional jealousies, of course, but
they had much more in common than mere physical proximity.
Kim even developed a “special” relationship with a
Scottish reporter, Iain MacKelpie (Martin Freeman, who’s
actually English, but we dumb Americans don’t know the
The first day she arrived, Kim told her American boyfriend
she wanted to come home. But
she soon not only became accustomed to the dangerous, exotic,
locale, she even began to be addicted to the adrenalin rush of the
imminent danger and the constantly-changing situation.
The American boyfriend soon drops out of sight, but Kim
stays, until she realizes that she’s losing interest in ever
wanting to go home again, which is the very thing that convinces
her that she needs to exit while she’s still able.
Tina Fey finally has a role with some substance, and she
utilizes it well. This
isn’t a silly part, it’s so serious that her character runs
the risk of taking herself too seriously----whoda thunk it?
“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” is an interesting showcase for
her developing acting talent.