There is a scene in which Gosling and Clooney meet in a hotel that’s shut for outsiders. They engage in a conversation where they both try to outdo each other and attempt at proving the other person wrong. It’s a simple scene but the director employs clever lines and great style in conveying the emotional turbulence that both the characters go through during that chat.
Political thrillers are always interesting to watch. There is always a plot of people involved in betrayal, cheating and treachery. This movie also does that. But, where it stands out from the rest of the lot is in its realistic depiction of the behind the scenes events. It doesn’t get too dramatic at any stage nor does it try to over-sympathize with the characters. It is bold, hardnosed and to the point.
The story revolves around the presidential campaign of George Clooney which is ably lead by Philip Seymour Hoffman as his chief campaign manager, Ryan Gosling who is Hoffman’s assistant and their team. Paul Giamatti, who is the chief campaign manager of the opponent camp tries to entice Gosling into working for them and pushes him into turmoil. Principles and ambitions clash with each other but Gosling prefers to stay with Clooney instead of joining the opposition camp. But, unknowingly this event and another critical one (a major spoiler) lead into sequences that threaten to derail the whole presidential campaign of Clooney and career aspirations of Gosling. The story then revolves around these lead characters to show how they battle tough situations trying to come out clean and successful.
This movie belongs to Ryan Gosling. This is his 3rd movie this year after Drive and Crazy, Stupid, Love. He continues to try different genres but still emerges unscathed by the burden of intense characters and difficult scripts. He is truly one of the best ‘actors’ around and has again done one hell of a job. It was an uphill task for him to perform alongside movie heavyweights like Clooney, Hoffman and Giamatti. But, Gosling works like magic. He takes the centre stage with utmost ease and carries the movie forward with his brilliant performance.
George Clooney is impressive as a director. He takes a backseat in terms of screen time and lets the story unfold from Gosling’s point of view. Clooney’s control over the narration is amazing and he doesn’t lose the grip over the story at any point in time. The performances are duly enhanced by smart dialogues and they add a punch to the already impressive package.
This movie may not appeal to everyone because of its pace and the style of film making. But, it’s a definite watch for every moviegoer. Miss it at your own risk as ‘The Ides of March’ is mesmerizing.