A Promising political drama from Mr. Ocean –
Clooney’s fourth venture behind the camera is evolving into maturity. The film is gradually transforms into a modern morality tale about the price of ambition and the corruption of power. But just who is Morris – a centre-left people pleaser with sufficient charm to make his socialist sounding policies adequate to the masses.
As its Shakespearean title suggests, The Ides Of March has more on its mind than debate prep and process. It’s really about ethics and values, loyalty and betrayal, ego and hubris – the stuff, the drama, not just the sort that occurs on the road to the White House.
An idealistic campaign leader Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) whose success at propelling a Democratic candidate Mike Morris (George Clooney) towards the Presidency has made his Republican rival jittery enough to try and woo him to the opposing camp. Behind his success Stephen has a mentor, Paul (Philip Seymour Hoffman) a loyal and experienced Morris’s campaign manager who had platonic relationship with wily journalist Ida (Marisa Tomei). Unfortunately in the opposite team there’s Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti) a cunningly campaign manager whose trying to disrupt Meyers head in a deceptive way.
As i said before, it’s a modern morality tale of how much one must wrestle between doing things because he feels they are the right thing to do and doing things that will serve themselves better in the long run. It’s highly cynical, with its points driven home by a terrific cast, and yet it manages not to be heavy handed or preachy.
It’s clear that The Ides of March won’t be for everyone. It won’t leave you hopeful about, well, anything. It gives you no one for whom to really cheer and yet no one for whom to really despise. It offers realism in exchange of hope, and its goal of trying to explain the motivations of those who get involved in these campaigns is reached. It’s an effective, gripping melodrama.