Last monday I journeyed to the cinema to watch The Ides of March, my dear friend told me that we should go see it and well George Clooney is starring so I could hardly say no. I had no idea what to expect and I love going to see a movie without any expectations or prejudice, it happens so rarely in my world. Being a bit of a movie geek I always overdo my research every time I go see a movie, because I wanna be prepaired and it always ends up with me knowing most of the story, plot and significant scenes. Sometimes this ruins my experience and well then most movies ends up being a bitter disappointment. But, this time I came completely unprepared. At first it made me nervous, because what had a bought a ticket too, I had no clue, but once the movie started I was thrilled.
The Ides of March is written and directed by George Clooney and he also stars in it, he plays governor Mike Morris who’s in running to become the democrats candidat for the presidential post. He has two men hired to lead the campaign and being his confidents. The elder experienced one is Paul Zara brilliantly played by one of my all time favourite actors Phillip Seymour Hoffman, his protege Stephen Meyers is played by mr. Sexy pants Ryan Gosling. The token girl, Molly that ends up ruining everything is played by Marilyn Mansons ex-girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood. I would like to write a little about her, I remember seeing her in a chickflick years ago thinking that she was great. Then I haven’t heard much about her other than she’s been dating Marilyn Manson. I have now realised that she’s been multible movies I haven’t seen. She’s so beautiful and talented so I really hope that she’ll get the deservered awknowledgement for her role in this film, because she is just brilliant.
The last character I will mention is Tom Duffy played by Paul Giamatti, he’s the campaign leader for Mike Morris’ rival Senator Pullman. He’s perfect as a corupted rat in the field and he gave the movie an extra edge.
So, as mentioned the movie is about the primary election in Ohio. In USA there’s a two-party system, this means that there’s always two major parties who tries to win the presidential post. These two parties is called the Democratic party and the Republican Party. Each party present one candidate each, that the american’s can vote for. Each party helds elections to find which candidate they wanna present to the presidential election and that’s what this movie is about. It’s about one of the candidates in the Democratic primary election in Ohio. I know that it might sound confusing or perhabs a bit to specific, but that’s the brilliance of this movie. It doesn’t focus on the rivalry between Democrats and Republicans, it focus on the internal rivalry between the Democrats.
Mike Morris is the perfect politician in many ways, he has integrity, the “right” opinions and is just love-able. Religion is always a huge topic in the American election and even though it’s mostly the republicans who’s very extremist, religion is also a topic for the democratic. To this debate Mike Morris answers to whether he’s religious or not and this is without a doubt my favourite line of the movie: “I’m neither Christian, nor an atheist, I’m not Jewish or Muslim.. What I believe… My religion is written on a piece of parchment called the Constitution. Meaning I will defend, till my dying breath, your right to worship, in whatever God or lack of thereof you believe in, as long as it doesn’t hurt others.” This is one of many beautiful lines in this extremely well written movie, it’s carried by dialogue and this can sometimes make a movie rather heavy, but not this one it’s just inspiring and scary.
Stephen Meyers the “new” kid on the block as a campaign leader is the central character. In the beginning he’s as innocent as you can be while being i politics, he really believes in Mike Morris. He truly wants him to win, not because it’s his job, but because he believes that he can make a difference in America. His boss Paul Zara has been in the business forever and has represented lots of candidates. He likes Mike Morris, but he’s filled with a scepticism that Stephen isn’t, and this dynamic is beautiful.
Through the entire movie there’s a strong tension between all the characters, in hangs in the air and there’s a constant shift of power and dynamic between the characters and all the actors are in my opinion truly sublime. Even though it’s a slow happening movie, sometimes you’re on the edge of your seat because the emotions of the actors is so exciting. There’s this scene where Paul Zara is called into Mike Morris’s car, we just see the car from the outside having no idea what’s going on inside the car. It’s a long scene where NOTHING happens, but my heart was pounding and sitting leaned for over in anticipation. That’s brilliant. I love writers and directors who can create such emotions from the audience without anything going on, just because you know the characters and fear what they might do. Because in this movie, it’s hard to predicts their reactions.
I feel in love with this movie instantly, it’s everything I could ever want in a political drama and more. I can’t praise this movie enough.
Now to the critic and this has nothing to do with the movie it’s whoever decide the title of films released in Denmark, but they deserve a kick in the groin. Till now my favourite have always been the third Die Hard movie, its original title was Die Hard with a vengeance, this made good sense since the bad guy is Hans Gruber, the bad guy in the first movie’s brother. In Denmark this was released as Die Hard Mega Hard what?? Stupid, why translate it when it’s not translated into danish and why translated it when you call it something stupid. This movie is originally called the Ides of March, I will get back to all the symbolism in this title, in Denmark it’s called the Chameleon (Kamæleonen) this makes kind of sense because in politics you need to be able of going with the flow and quickly adapt to new situations, it’s not that stupid, but the movie is called the Ides of March for a reason.
The term Ide is a latin word used in the ancient Roman calender, meaning the middle of the month. It’s often associated with the murder of Julius Caesar, a seer had predicted that he would be betrayed and murdered before the Ides of March, the 15th of March. As you might know he was murdered on the 15th of March. So, this title is so cool and tells a lot about how the political system is portrayed in this movie. It’s about how you get betrayed in this business and about getting a knife stuck in your back, and how you can trust no one. I love it when a movie has a brilliant title like this, and I HATE that in Denmark we so often translate them into something stupid, when those who have made the movie have put a lot of thought into the title.
So, all in all -Watch this movie. Watch if it like watching talented actors, a different movie about politics, an educational movie, a well-written movie and a movie that’ll keep you on your toes. Don’t expect gun shots, car chasing or blood, just expect brilliance.