The Ides of March and Integrity in Politics
October 23, 2011 Leave a comment
A political movie about integrity? You can see this won’t end well…
The Ides of March doesn’t involve too much politicking, but focuses on the integrity in politics. We’re introduced to Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling), a staffer on Governor Mike Morris’ (George Clooney) campaign team, as they Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) are running for the Democratic leadership. Morris is (in my view) the ideal candidate who appears to run on a higher moral ground and the same can be said for Meyers, who has some experience, but is generally not as jaded as his campaign brethren. He stands up for his candidate and after one seemingly innocent meeting in a bar with the other candidate’s chief campaign guy, Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti), things begin spiraling out of control.
Both Meyers and Gov. Morris begin the movie with a lot of integrity, but as certain events come to light, we see them descend in to not so moral grounds. Morris, in public, is the same affable guy you’d want to run your country, but behind closed doors he’s the opposite. With Meyers though, his descent is thrust upon him like a disease as he tries to make things right for the Governor. Fighting for his career, he’s caught between a rock and hard place and you can see him become jaded as things got out of hand. I enjoyed the last scene as the movie leaves the audience with with the question, will he continue down the path he’s on, or will he stand up for what he believed in so strongly at the beginning?
When it came to character development, the movie did a wonderful job, but the pace was incredibly slow at times and some dialogue was tough to get through. Up until the characters started their decline and I understood where the plot was going, I wasn’t all that interested in it. Once it did pick up though, I ended up enjoying it for what it was, even though it wasn’t normally something that I’d watch. I give The Ides of March a 3/5.