Sunday, November 2, 2008


As a struggling young film director the dire economy and upcoming election make me feel like my future is frightening. I went to see “W.” to get inside the head of a man who has been a joke of a president these last two terms.

I was disappointed with the lack of coverage of the 2000 election in the film. This is Bush’s biggest moment, from abortions and drunken tirades to the White House. Why don’t we see this major turning point for his character?

The large cast of principal characters (mainly Bush’s cabinet) managed to grow and have transitions as people, with the exceptions of Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld. Rice served purely as comic relief, Rummy voiceless until his sudden infuriated resignation.

Screenwriter Stanley Weiser perfectly depicted a man who has faced a huge amount of ridicule in a very human way. The Bush we watch is not simply dumb, dyslexic, or even unkind, but full of conviction, naiveté, and a soft heart (besides the killing soldiers and torture thing). Though he is in scenes laughable, eating habits and dialectics aside, this seems part of his nature, nothing purposefully malicious. We don’t get mad at rap stars for never shedding their hood slang. Josh Brolin pulls off Bush by taking his subject’s political strategy "I'm just a normal guy", in his portrayal of the character. I felt compassion for this charmingly pitiful man. The film's commentary on George's presidency, and the overall premise, is that blind conviction leads to botched success.

Though the film’s premise is strong, I wanted resolution to my protagonist’s inner conflict, not a political statement in the end.

-Fury Young

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