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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

By Claire Rodriguez
On April 28, 2016


Before jumping into this review, let’s explain the title of the movie to people who don’t totally understand why it is called “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.” The military and all the nations that are a part of NATO use a phonetic alphabet to ensure the accurate transmission of messages. The phonetic alphabet means that each letter of the alphabet has a word associated with it, for example; the word “whiskey” translates to the letter W, “foxtrot” to F, and so on. By this system, the movie’s title is “WTF,” which is probably an accurate description of what anyone would think if dropped into a war zone.

The movie begins with one scene and then backtracks through the history leading up to that scene. Given the previews and the fact that the movie has Tina Fey as the main actress, I wasn’t expecting the movie to be at all serious. So it came as a surprise when the movie was actually quite a nice balance of drama and comedy. It begins with a journalist, Kim Barker, going to Afghanistan on assignment as a way of escaping a life she had begun to find very dead- ended. She is first sent to Afghanistan in 2002 and ends up staying until 2008. The movie goes through the course of her assignment in the Middle East and the interesting array of people she meets, lessons she learns, and events that she has a part in. And while Tina Fey is known more for her comedic roles on television and film, she shows her more serious side and shines. The humor provided in the movie balances out the serious nature of the subject and lightens the movie quite a bit. Warning though, the movie does contain a fair dose of profanity, sexual references, and violence, as expected of a movie about a war zone. But, if anything, the language and violence serves to make the movie more genuine and believable and, according to a retired United States Air Force Reserve man, more accurate to the traditions of the military content in real life. The movie is based on a true story of an actual journalist, Kim Barker, and her book with the same name as the film. Overall, the movie was fantastic and I would definitely go see it again.


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