As a journalist covering low-level, low-interest stories and feeling a lack of excitement in her personal life, Kim Baker volunteers to take an assignment covering the war in Afghanistan. Unprepared for the change in quality of life, she befriends a few other journalists and begins to seek out stories covering the Afghani people. She takes risks to get stories to garner more attention, much to the displeasure of her military partner. Her efforts do not go unnoticed, as she gets a high-powered suitor and the consistent annoyance of a fellow journalist.
Self Exploration Through Unusual Travel: Kim’s decision to go to Afghanistan was an attempt to get out of a stagnant lifestyle. While she seemingly had a steady job and a loving boyfriend, she was looking for something more. It may not be common to take such a big life change or to go into dangerous environments to find oneself, but it was certainly more interesting than Eat, Pray, Love. Covering war could have been enough excitement, but she purposely took risks to get the better story, whether meeting with a dangerous political figure or sneaking into a religious rally.
Complicated Love Story: Built into the self-discovery was also a sense of searching for love. Kim looked to find adventure in Afghanistan but also was caught in a confusing array of relationships. Her boyfriend, Chris, was strained by the distance and time apart from each other, leading to his distancing from Kim. Spending time with other foreign correspondents led to a confusing connection with Iain. While she found him somewhat revolting at times, he also showed his compassionate side and had moments of care. In contrast, Ali Massoud Sadiq appeared extremely charming but his advances were clearly not an interest for Kim.
Unclear Consequences: While there were a number of mistakes and challenges that arose throughout her Afghanistan experience, one of the saddest ones related to her interview of one of the soldiers. The Marine admitted to the questioning of his purpose toward the war effort. While out trying to make a name for herself, the Marine was injured by an IED and returned back to the states. Feeling that she was responsible, she visited him after her tour was over, only to learn that she believed that she was at fault for the incident. Instead, it was other actions she took that were connected to injury and loss of life, but by the pure realities of war and not her direct actions.
Final Verdict: Tina Fey played a strong-willed reporter whose journey was more about self-discovery and purpose than it was about the war itself. There were discussions of cultural differences, political ideology, military involvement, and romantic entanglement, making for an entertaining, though maybe not as complex and worldly as it should assume to be.
Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5