This weekend, I decided to once again take advantage of some of the “free” things offered here at IU, and went to the IMU to watch a free movie – The Ides of March. (I use quotations around free, because let’s face it, I do pay for it through student fees – but it still feels free…might as well take advantage of some of the perks that come with still being a student!)
The movie was extremely interesting and fun to watch. It’s definitely a politically oriented film, but can capture the interest of anyone – even those not interested in politics at all (Em can vouch for that). It tells the story of a two man race in Democratic primary election to run for the President of the United States – certainly a timely film as we are in the thick of a primary election for the 2012 Presidential election (of course, the Republican primary rather than the Democratic).
The film takes us inside of some of the inner workings and potentially shady deals that accompany any large-scale political election. George Clooney – the hopeful and “ideal” political candidate – and Ryan Gosling as his young but up-and-coming marketing/media genius campaigner drive the majority of the action in the film.
One thing that really makes this film interesting is the statement that it makes about the political process in general here in the US, especially when the stakes are high (i.e. the office of the president). We have our “ideal” candidate in Clooney; he wants to do what is best for the country, is unwilling to budge on moral issues or wage political wars through mud-slinging, and appears to be against making back-alley deals to get things done. Additionally, we have Gosling’s character who is a young media relations/campaign guru. He too is an idealistic young political mind who is unwilling to sling mud or be unethical in his approach to running a campaign.
A real breath of fresh air – a political campaign and candidate running on sound ideals and values and being fun in a truthful, straight-forward and ethically sound way. But we find out that even this “ideal” candidate and his campaign manager have some skeletons in their closets and are forced to make choices and do things during this campaign that we were led to believe they would never engage in.
Again, this movie is really about the nature of the political process in general – how even those people who may seem ideal and may seem committed to running an ethical campaign are often forced into some things that they swore they would never take part in – making campaign promises, under the table deals, mud-slinging, and trying to win votes at any cost.
So without giving much away, I highly recommend seeing this movie – regardless of whether you’re a political junkie or have not interest whatsoever in politics.
PS. This movie was one of the free movies that plays every week at the IMU. They are free with a student ID, have super cheap concession food (though we didn’t get any), and play current movies (this movie just came out a couple of months ago). Again, why not take advantage of some of the perks of paying student fees and having access to fun stuff at free/discounted rates!