With the presidential campaigns in full swing in the United States, there is no better time for the release of George Clooney’s latest work. Proving that he isn’t just talented on screen, Clooney not only acts in the political drama, “Ides of March”, but also co-wrote it and directed it. The name comes from Shakespeare’s famous play Julius Caesar in which Caesar was warned to “beware the Ides of March”, or more specifically the day he would be assassinated; an extremely appropriate title as the movie deals greatly with the themes of politics and betrayal.
The “Ides of March” takes you backstage in a race for presidency and shows you all the inner workings of a political campaign. The movie gives viewer the raw truth about how a president goes from a candidate to becoming elected through the eyes of the political campaign workers. Viewers get to know who the important players are in political races and the roles they play and will also get a good look at how big the media is in political campaigns and how much damage they can cause.
While many people believe that Clooney plays a major role in the movie, his character, a presidential candidate, somewhat falls in the background and leaves the main role for Ryan Gosling who gave the performance of his career as a political advisor working for Clooney. A somewhat naïve and good intentioned young man, Gosling believes that in the world of dirty politics he can remain clean. Throughout the campaign however, Gosling’s character is faced with obstacles that test his faith and his morality as he begins to learn just how dirty and deceitful politics can be. Through his character the movie sets the age old question, should a person play dirty and succeed or play fair and possibly fall behind? Marissa Tomei, who plays a determined and conniving reporter, also does an excellent job of portraying the determination of the media to find and expose anything they made find on political candidates and everybody around them.
While the acting is outstanding, the dialogue wasn’t lacking either! Clooney did an outstanding job writing for this movie; the conversations are fast and quick witted and done so well that you can’t help but want to start using political lingo after this movie. Clooney also cleverly includes several short presidential speeches that indirectly present ideas and suggestions for America’s economy, gun laws, and education to name a few. One might even say that he did a good job promoting the democratic political agenda through those speeches.
If there had to be one thing I would have to criticize about the movie is the slow pace it moves in at the beginning, however thirty minutes into the movie it picks up and the action, so to speak, begins. Other than that the movie is intelligent, well put together and well worth watching. It definitely didn’t cause an Oscar buzz for nothing.
Verdict: 5 out of 5
– Jawa Al-Ahmad