Sunday, October 09, 2011

"The Ides of March" (2011) - Movie Review

Idealism is an irony for politics. It attracts its idealist and then paints a thick reality concocted with cynicism and disgust. Perfectionism is unachievable as human and yet we look for one. We look for a bigger version than us and we see in the people who would like to govern us. Riding against plethora of miniscule subjectivities and proclivities of the wide spread country of US, the campaign personnel shed day in and day out drenched in moves, plots and strategy to make their candidate look great and the opposition bad without saying so, it is where the execution happens bloodless. Such is so in George Clooney’s “The Ides of March” which has his men and women labouring hard to get a bigger version of themselves govern them.

George Clooney is Mike Morris and who else other than Clooney play someone so charming and idealistic with the shred of doubt and mysticism in them. He has Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) the campaign manager with a vibrant and astute young fellow in the name of Steven Myers (Ryan Gosling) running the show. Myers truly believes in his man and he stands for it. While the elephant of a doubt lurks on whether happens at all but there is always that hope and the confidence that the firm believers of ideals and prospect have that they ingest the idea of having found someone. They are not alone to look up to but clean and perfect to be the leader for every one else. While the imminent soul breaker does come, “The Ides of March” plays its card right with right calculated surprises that makes, breaks and changes its characters.

Ryan Gosling’s Steven Myers is dynamic, energetic, smart and knows his game. With his eyes reflecting several sleepless nights as the primaries for Democratic candidate is week’s away, he wanders carrying Morris on his sleeves and being the perfect right hand man for Paul. Gosling here miles away from his role from “Drive” is a talker and a thorough one. His eyes are threatening in the fear, angst, shock and disappointment when the time comes. He hardly smiles and when he does it takes effort in doing so unlike his unnamed driver in “Drive” that spills smiles when he is in love. Shouldering with Hoffman, Clooney and Paul Giamatti, he is the man for the job and he does so effortlessly.

“The Ides of March” focusses on the background we have to be there to believe it. Talk about fast paced environment which are thrown like boring uncreative lines for a company’s hiring advertisements and here you feel it in your nerve. Papers flying, people around and you assessing every word you speak and hear is a chilling plays for a young people with hopes high and prosperous. Such is Molly (Evan Rachel Wood) an intern working at Morris’ campaign who decides to make a move on Myers who of course obliges. She eases and understands in few words and drinks. Then there is the loving Marisa Tomei as the journalist Ida Horowicz knowing how to game information with the boys and play cold when she needs to.

I did mention about Paul Giamatti who is the opposition campaign manager and kindly make a note of glances and obligatory smile Hoffman’s Paul and Giamatti’s Tom sweat which explains everything the casting did right on picking those for those roles. Jeffrey Wright is Senator Thompson who will put an end to this primary by endorsing either of the candidates and both of them are fighting hard to get him. That is part of the plot in the film but the real thing comes down little bit later than that. Things unravel in twists that bring all the people who are made note in the setting filled with people to act and do things that becomes like a Mafia.

The people in the film curse as they please like a well placed word in a poem and you realize that in a day filled with careful statements and land mine conversations, when they are in closed doors, they go ballistics as to take a dip freely in the fresh waters of profanity. Clooney’s Morris is believable and shares a personal moment with his wife Cindy Morris (Jennifer Ehle) where we understand that the man respects and trusts his guts and values. Everything happens in the “The Ides of March” are not a plot placement for pulling the foundation at the end. While that happens, it happens as a strategy well placed and played making the game of politics an ugly one and a generation that are tired of cynicism but are in process of being imbibed with it. Yet they will not take no for an answer and they would go beyond their values to go for a better leader. That is exactly younger Paul Zara and Tom Duffy would have thought when they were thirty.

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