Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Politickle Comedy

It is the year of elections in America and a film that has a hint of political satire could have had a much larger impact than Jay Roach’s The Campaign has. But the movie produces enough laughs to fulfill your entertainment needs. The Zack Galifianakis and Will Ferrell starrer is a crude mash-up, where the ridiculous American comedy meets dark political strategy.

The story begins when a four-time Democrat congressman from District 14 of North Carolina falls out of favour with the corrupt billionaires – the Motch brothers. In order to strike him down, they appoint Marty Huggins, the uncanny son of a former Republican, to stand in opposition. Having been elected unopposed four times, Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) takes it upon himself to humiliate his rival. And then, the games begin, after a few setbacks, the Motch brothers appoint a campaign manager for Marty, a shady man who is later revealed to be an international fugitive (Dylan McDermott). 

The battle that follows sparks a fire that engulfs the two candidates and their families too. Cam along with his campaign advisor Mitch (Jason Sudeikis) portray Marty to be an Al Qaeda terrorist and ridicule him for being a little unusual. Cam even seduces his wife. Marty on the other hand, humiliates Cam by proving to people that Cam is a bad Christian. Cam also gets coverage for his infamous punching of a baby, and then punching Uggie, the dog from The Artist. Finally, when the Motch brothers reveal their true intentions, which involve practically selling the District 14 to China by importing cheap labour from there, Marty refuses to cooperate. They rig the elections; take Cam on their side and he wins. But a change of heart causes him to step down and Marty wins by default. The district is saved and the honour restored.

The satire in this film is very superficial and doesn’t dig deep. The humour is crude and lewd and definitely unsuitable for the under-aged, but it sure does crack you up. Ferrell and Galifianakis live up to their comic expectations and deliver performances that put up a hilarious drama before you. The film holds you, but is a little bit of a dampener towards the end in terms of how the plot unfolds. But, it moves from one funny sequence to another making the boring bits less boring.

The film begins with a quote that reads, “War has rules. Mud wrestling has rules. Politics has no rules.” But the dark essence of that message gets lost in the unsophisticated portrayal. It is a good watch if you are looking for a good laugh. For those seeking a lesson in politics and how dirty the game is, The Campaign will paint a caricature that is hardly true.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Published in DNA After Hrs (Pune) on September 8, 2012

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