Let's face it: the only two places where politics has also become a form of entertainment are the United States and Westeros. Anywhere else, all these stances, movements and statements would be either formal or plain dull. But the American life managed to turn politics into a reality show, and politicians into media stars, an achievement matched only by the product of G.R.R.Martin's creative mind. But, unlike The Song of Ice and Fire, the American reality show takes place in our own world, and it doesn't seem to have a final season any time soon.
So, when life gives you such a never-ending source of inspiration, it is only natural to start capitalizing on it. In that sense, The Ides of March is hardly the first film about politics and political intrigues, although, having been released two years before House of Cards, it still had a lot of unconquered media land around. Combined with a stellar - and I mean it - cast, it could seem that success of The Ides of March is a deal decided. But, just like we're constantly reminded by this very film, there is no such thing as a guarantee of success. But what could possibly go wrong?
One problem with this film is its way of creating suspense by first setting the rules and then changing them when you expect it the least. True, politics is a cruel mistress and fair play is not to be expected. But even in cheating there must be some logic and consistency, otherwise the characters' actions become rather random and plot twists forced. A young and ambitious campaign coordinator who's "not like everyone else" because he needs to actually believe in the person he promotes - to become easily distraught and seduced by a most predictable competitors' move. A candidate, all-out solid stand up guy with rock hard principles - to turn out a vicious predator and abuser. A young woman who made a mistake but tries her hardest to deal with the consequences - to simply give up when all is seemingly over. Such things just don't make sense. And even when they do, they are never given much premise to create at least some credibility. As if people act drastically out of character simply for the kicks of it. Such erratic scenario succeeds at creating not suspense in the audience, but paranoia, making you imagine things and see crooked shadows where everything's actually plain and clear.
But even that low blow could be justified if The Ides of March managed to deliver some kind of culminating strike, to exploit the inner pressure the film's been building during all its course. Some revelation, light or dark, it doesn't matter, at least something clear and definitive. But that's where the film fell painfully short, just abruptly ending at the moment it's been leading us towards through the whole second act. Instead of even trying to explain the illogicalities it exploited, or at least settling for the plain and coherent ending with no hidden implications, the film decided to play smart and hint at some game-changing turn towards the end, but instead of actually taking that turn satisfied itself with a hollow point, trying to convince us that it's a masterful open ending we could finish in our imagination the way we liked. It seems, George Clooney was too busy with self-adoration, being all dashing and daring, courageous and caring in front of the camera, that he forgot to orchestrate the show behind it. And instead of a true open ending, a smart way of not rubbing in the eyes of the viewer a set of most probable outcomes the film has previously set clear through its actions, we received an empty ending, leaving us with not enough consistency throughout the film to even begin guessing what could be implied or inferred for real and not be a product of our already inflamed imagination. Such move, instead of provoking curiosity and creative thinking, robs us out of the only satisfaction we could get out of this film: the satisfaction of finding out how this unhealthily hectic set of events actually unfolds. Which might be fine for the cruel genre of art house, but, within the framework of political reality show entertainment, equals to no fun at all.
The Ides of March
Action / Drama / Thriller
The Ides of March
Action / Drama / Thriller
Stephen Meyers is a young idealist who's brilliant at communications, is second in command of Governor Mike Morris's presidential campaign, and is a true believer. In the middle of the Ohio primary, the campaign manager of Morris's opponent asks Meyers to meet; he offers him a job. At the same time, Morris's negotiations for the endorsement of the man in third place, a North Carolina Senator, hit a snag. A young campaign intern, Molly Stearns, gets Stephen's romantic attention. Republicans have a trick up their sleeve; Stephen may be too trusting, and Molly has a secret. What's most important, career, victory, or virtue?
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April 04, 2017 at 11:46 PM