Sunday, July 29, 2007

Death of a President

Death of a President (Gabriel Range, 2006) [4]

Contrary to what the right wing would want you to believe about this film, there really isn't anything that sensationalistic about it. It's not a venomous screed against Bush but is rather trying to be a sober piece of what if alternative history. The problem is that it's a pretty boring film bogged down by too many cloying characters and themes. The history that Range and his collaborators throw up is lazy and pretty far-fetched; it's a kind of wish fulfilment for these Brits of what America should do. Well, most people in America are lazy and apathetic, so even though they say they don't like the war in Iraq, there's not going to be mass protests in the streets anytime soon by ones other than those who already have. The situation with the protesters doesn't ring true all the way down to the loony anarchists that are supposedly leading this. Even worse are the interviews with actors who are clearly trying too hard to be dignified. I found out afterwards that these actors were not told the entire plot of the film which explains why nothing involving the talking head pieces flows smoothly. The only part of the film that has any true resonance is in the aftermath of the assassination, where a President Cheney preys on the fear and mourning of a nation to pass even more draconian laws and the real truth of what happened is never explained because of political expediency. By that point this rolls around the film had no chance to redeem itself. That and its told in such an blunt way that it saps all the drama out of the film.

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