Monday, 22 October 2012

Electoral Dysfunction

Robert Redford is approached to run against a long standing Senator in the political drama soft satire The Candidate from 1972. As the reluctant nominee hits the campaign trail the idealism and values he started with are slowly eroded as his chances improve and real power comes close to hand. Nicely acted by Redford and Peter Boyle this bitter, sharp swipe at the Amurican electoral system has a nuance that could be mistaken for understatement these days but it's a fine, depressingly prescient film that deserves a lot more attention.
40 years later and there's little if any understatement in The Campaign, a starry, comedy nutpunch towards Amurica"s current political idiocy. Zach Galifianakas, playing a campy tour guide, gets recruited by a pair of billionaires to unseat the incumbent oaf Will Ferrell and the race to Congress pushes both men to the brink, redefining classic political pandering and dirty, dirty tricks. Though it crumples into a typically cheesy finale there’s a surprising amount of bite to the comedy, hidden as it is beneath an avalanche of puerile and slapstick nonsense. Considerably better than expected.

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