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Tina Fey: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Tina Fey: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Elizabeth Stamina Fey, better known as the one and only Tina Fey, is mostly known for her excellent comedic performances from television to film. Now in cinemas, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is something completely different for the funny lady, still suited to her capabilities for amusing an audience equalled by an, until now, largely unseen serious side.

Not quite as everlasting as M.A.S.H although the furious sanctions of war is reflected on a similar lighter side while the looming threat of combat remains never far away or forgotten. An excellent ambitious vibrant film based on a true account concerning a journalist in the Middle East with star Tina Fey as commanding as she always is although displaying fine tuned dramatic poise unlike you have never seen from her before. Still with a pulsating funny side, she is stoic with a range of acting embedded into the character.

Kim Barker (Tina Fey) goes into the field as a war correspondent out of her depth transitioning in quick time with the differences of life getting under skin only to be eased from a barrage of international press colleagues around her. Going through the motions early in her career on stage performing amateur improvisation skits and plays, she was offered a job to write for American institution Saturday Night Live in New York. Next was a move in front of the camera co-anchoring Weekend News Update alongside JImmy Fallon, the rest is history. From hosting the Golden Globe Award ceremony three years in a row with good friend Amy Pohler to appearing in some clever big screen comedies including classic Clueless from a screenplay she wrote.

Baby Mama (2008), Date Night (2010) and more recently Sisters (2015) proved this girl is a quick-witted sure fire comic goddess. After 138 episodes of the industry satire television series hit 30 Rock finished and her beloved character of Liz Lemon now on permanent vacation. So what may seem an unusual choice, is actually a brilliant move to play feisty forward thinking journalist Kim Barker in Whisky Tango Foxtrot which Fey also has a hand in producing.

Derived from the best-selling memoir, Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, witty observant war and comedy aspects are mixed dynamics that work here without ever letting you forget of the tragedy which this part of the world deals with. Sudden violence waked up the senses and reality of the situation on hand for Kim as she competes with fellow journalists for first hand exclusive stories.

One of my favourite actors of all time, Billy Bob Thornton, makes an immediate impression when he scowls on screen as General Hollanek, the high ranked officer who in a way befriends Barker working together to achieve results.

Australians Margot Robbie and Stephen Peacocke prevail in solid variable roles but it is Christopher Abbott, excellent in the television series Girls, almost unrecognisable here as an Afghanistan fixer going at time beyond the call of duty to assist Barker. All hand picked or suggested by Fey during the casting process.

One of the objective points to Whisky Tango Foxtrot, a title which is never explained other than the first letters of the three words ironic to her unpredictable job. It’s well constructed female-power all the way supremely thanks to the multi-talented adorable Fey.

Shane A. Bassett

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