Be careful with this one. A casual glance at a sketchy trailer or a quick read of the synopsis over coffee and you are likely to come away with the distinct impression that Clooney is reinventing the political wheel. After all, it does sound rather familiar in a Robert Redford sort of way; a worldly mega rich Democrat makes a film about an apparent young idealist learning, from hard experience, that his political heroes are not all they seem. First impressions of this film, though, are as deceptive as the political system that it deconstructs and Clooney’s cynical take on the ‘cynical’ has two feet firmly on the ground in ways that were almost lost to the political thriller sub-genre.
Loosely based on Beau Willimon’s stage play, Farragut North, the film arrives under the guise of The Ides of March. It is a cue for a metaphorical style Julius Cesar assassination attempt, but rather than drawing us to a conventional closure, the end forms part of a wider continuum, just like the Roman calendar upon which Shakespeare based his clever wordplay. The Ides of March, the 15th of that month, is no different from any other in this rancid game of consequences where contaminated decisions made one day force compromises on another, which, in turn, form the basis of further decisions that lead to more compromises and the odd silver plated political knife thrusting towards the chest as often as the back.
Ryan Gosling plays the post-post modern mock idealist, an apparent pastiche of the wide-eyed optimist but, in reality, it is a persona that he ruthlessly adopts for his own manipulative purposes. A product of our times, where presentation rules the roost, he is a sub-publicity agent to a Democratic governor fighting to be his party’s next presidential candidate. Gosling sidesteps one way and then the other with such finely tuned panache, we believe, for a while, that this is a modern day Joseph Turner/Condor.
The governor is a throwback to Bill McKay/The Candidate, but Clooney reprises the role at the point where he has already turned. This is not a film about politics corrupting its characters but one where the already corrupt work the system, operate between the rules.
Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman expertly portray a couple of hard boiled political old pros in opposing camps treading that dangerous thin line between being in complete control and succumbing to an arrogant complacency. In one remarkable scene, we see Hoffman enter and leave the governor’s car from a stationary camera fixed outside where a slow and ominous Hitchcockian zoom shot provides brilliant filmic short-hand for the ‘thanks for everything’ conversation taking place inside.
An intricate political web of their own making ultimately traps these characters; the inevitable consequences of an institutional corruption that is systemic. To this extent, Clooney’s impressive fourth feature as filmmaker has something in common with another film competing at Venice, Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.motilium online pharmacydomperidone purchase domperidone onlinesildalis buy onlinebuy sildalissildalis pricesildalis onlinesildalis for saleonline sildalissildalis costo