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1. The State of the Union, a 1948 film directed by Frank Capra pertains to the attempt made by an unscrupulous media magnate, Kay Thorndyke, to stage manage the election of her lover Grant Matthews as the President of the United States of America. Eventually Matthews listens to…
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Movie Review of the History and Political Science of the Concerned June 17, Movie Review Part I: of the Union 1. The State of the Union, a 1948 film directed by Frank Capra pertains to the attempt made by an unscrupulous media magnate, Kay Thorndyke, to stage manage the election of her lover Grant Matthews as the President of the United States of America. Eventually Matthews listens to the voice of his conscience and unravels the selfish plans of his backers before the American masses on a live radio broadcast.
2. The overall view of the American politics presented in State of the Union is positive and favorable. Though, at most of the times in the movie, the American politics appears to be largely stage managed by the affluent sections of the society, in the climax it portrays a healthy picture of the American politics, where the leaders listen to the voice of their conscience and were the values like honesty, fairness, family bonding and justice manage to thrive over selfishness and untruth.
3. The lesson that this movie tends to convey is that essentially the American politics is value driven. The mechanics and the framework of the American politics and the public expectations are such that they tend to push back the fake and the selfish. Though at a superficial level, many a time it may seem that the privileged sections of the society have a greater say in the political setup, eventually it is the strong undercurrent of integrity and uprightness that always has a final say.
Part II: Thank You for Smoking
1. Thank You for Smoking, a 2005 film directed by Jason Rietman, is essentially about the exploits of a smooth and smart tobacco lobbyist Nick Naylor who uses his public speaking skills to win support in the favor of smoking. The film depicts the ploys and schemes resorted to by Nick Naylor and his like minded friends to mould and influence the public and political opinion in favor of the causes that happen to be basically harmful to the public health.
2. The view of the American politics as presented in Thank You for Smoking is quiet negative and disturbing. In Thank You for Smoking the American politics comes out as a political system that is vulnerable to being managed and influenced by the people who are influential, powerful and deft public opinion managers. The American public is shown as an unsuspecting victim to the schemes of people who are not averse to lying and using faulty logic.
3. While State of the Union ends in the victory of the essential American values like honesty, integrity and justice, Thank You for Smoking tends to project the victory of the powerful and the unscrupulous over the desired political values and aspirations. This has perhaps a lot to do with the era in which the two films were made in the sense that Thank You for Smoking voices the increasing public cynicism going by the rising role and power of money and media in the American politics. Read More
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