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22 Apr 2009

~Burn After Reading~

The Plot

Osborne Cox is a CIA analyst who quits his job at the agency after being demoted because of a drinking problem. He then decides to write a memoir about his life in the CIA. His wife, pediatrician Katie Cox wants to divorce Osborne and, at the counsel of her divorce lawyer she copies many of his personal and financial files off his computer and onto a compact disc. The lawyer's receptionist accidentally leaves the disc at Hardbodies, a health club. After her husband is served with divorce papers, Katie changes the locks to keep him out of their house.

Two employees of the gym, Chad Feldheimer and Linda Litzke obtain the disc from the gym's custodian. Seeing the content of the memoir, they assume that it is highly classified information. Initially Chad and Linda plan to give the disk back to Osborne hoping for a reward, intending to use the money to pay for Linda's cosmetic surgery. However, after a confusing phone conversation and fury on Osborne's part, their original plan descends into a blackmail attempt. Chad meets Osborne, who, aware that the "information" is merely his memoirs, refuses to pay and punches Chad in the nose. Linda decides to take the information to the Russian embassy. At the embassy, she hands the disk over to the Russians, promising that she will give more information afterwards. Because they don't actually have any more information, they decide to break into Osborne's house to steal more.

Katie has been having an affair with Harry Pfarrer, a womanizing Treasury agent. By chance he has recently met Linda online and begun an affair with her as well. Chad stakes out Osborne's house and breaks in when he sees Harry and Katie leave. Harry, however, comes back, finds Chad, and accidentally shoots him in the face. Chad is not carrying ID and the labels are cut out of his clothes; when Harry sees this, he thinks Chad is a spy and disposes of the body. At the CIA headquarters, an official and his director while observing everyone, are perplexed as to what is going on and decide to maintain observation until the situation "makes sense."

A few days later, paranoid since he killed Chad, Harry leaves Osborne's house after a discussion with Katie. On his way out, he tackles a man who has been trailing him for some time, thinking the man works for the CIA or some other government agency. Harry discovers instead that the man works for a divorce firm hired by his wife, who it is later revealed has been cheating on him as well. Harry is devastated and goes to see an agitated Linda, who confides in Harry that her friend Chad is missing; he agrees to try to help.

The next morning, Harry and Linda meet in a park and she provides him with more information about Chad's disappearance. When Harry realizes that Chad is the man he killed, he becomes more paranoid and flees in terror, assuming that Linda is also a spy. Linda then turns to Ted Treffon, the manager of Hardbodies, who has feelings for her. Believing that the Russians have kidnapped Chad, he agrees to look for more information in Osborne's computer. But Osborne, finding that Katie has emptied their bank account, decides to break into his own house with a hatchet to take her jewelry. Finding Ted at his computer, Osborne shoots him. Ted survives and runs out of the house, but Osborne grabs the hatchet and kills him.

The movie ends at CIA headquarters, where the official and his director are trying to sort out what happened: Chad and Ted are dead and Osborne is in a vegetative state after being shot by a CIA operative who had been tasked with observing him. The agent felt he could not stand by while Osborne was killing a man (Ted) in broad daylight. Harry and Linda have been arrested; Harry was caught trying to board a flight to Venezuela, but the director decides to let him go to get him out of their hair. Linda promises to remain silent if the CIA will finance her plastic surgery. The baffled CIA agents agree to her terms.

*Ermm...just don't know how to describe the movie. Kindda stupid, though. A cd was lost, the owner, Osborne Cox (an ex-CIA agent) thought it was his memoir, but the cd pickers thought it was something important, confidential thing about CIA, hence the CIA ask some of the spies to look around Osborne to check what's really inside that cd, but the cd actually was about the owner's personal and financial files, for Osborne's wife to file for divorce. And a paranoid guy who works for the treasury thought he was followed by agents working for the government. The movie is like a puzzle. A piece here and there, but finalise at the end. It's not worth to watch, though Brad Pitt's character is kindda funny, with his yo-yo's expression.

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