Monday, November 03, 2008

W: A life misunderestimated...

Hi friends

A few of my friends told me that I almost invariably rate every movie as good or average. Well, that is perhaps the main reason why I see Hollywood movies is because they are really good. I can relate to many of the Hollywood stuff and hence am rarely a critic of any Hollywood movies unless they really suck.

One of the most recent releases is the movie "W.". Yes, that is the title of the movie, just a plain simple letter. It talks about the presidency of one of the most controversial presidents in American history, you guessed it right - George W. Bush. I know, I know, most of you hate him from the core of your heart (as if all the talk of change and the bad-mouthing done by Barack Obama was not enough). Even mentioning his name makes one feel hate and anger. After all, he was the "mastermind" behind the Iraq war; he made so many families suffer and destroyed so many innocent lives (so did Harry S. Truman, “a Democrat with no experience", when he nuked Japan in 1945. The Russians knew about the existence of the Atomic Bomb long before Truman himself found out). And yes, Bush is also responsible for the current economic downturn (actually started by the Democrats when they opposed a bill put forth by Republicans who wanted to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the “pioneers” for this entire economic crash that, in my view, is solely responsible for Obama’s poll leads right now)

Ok, was Bush actually ready to become the President? His brother, Jeb, was the more favoured one by the elder Bush. After all, Jeb was more focused, energetic and directional – all qualities of a leader-in-making. But why did Bush want the Presidency? The movie answers this question as such: “He wanted to do better than his dad. He wanted to do better than Jeb. He wanted his dad to like him too. He wanted to be the favourite one”. Ironic isn’t it? His father, a more qualified person (former VP, former Director of CIA and a Yale graduate) lost out in the 1992 elections to a newcomer. And yet, George W. Bush was successfully re-elected in 2004, garnering more than 50% of the popular vote. During his 8 years of Presidency, he has had both the highest (92%) and lowest (19%) approval ratings in the history of the USA.

The movie is a look at the different side of Bush, the side of his that is not known to the public as such. People expected this movie to be the ultimate Bush-basher (noting that Hollywood has not been kind to the Republican Party in the recent decades). But they were all proved wrong, when Oliver Stone, the director, merely put forth what he perceived as the facts. Yes, this movie is based on the accounts of some nonfictional books written about the Bush Jr. era. It was not made in consultation with the Bush family itself (point well made by Jeb bush himself). But Stone didn’t want to make a movie telling the same stuff we have been hearing all these years. He wanted to show the Bush we didn’t see – the earlier Bush, who tried to come out from his dad’s shadow and earn his respect, who was changed in the Alcoholics anonymous meetings and who felt transformed into a another human being who was working for God.

It was very interesting to note that Bush made every decision during his Presidency invoking the name of God. It’s not that he did this because he wanted to; he did this because he believed that God was working through him. He wanted to do what God wanted to do through him. Sounds scary right, as if he was the messiah. But no, he knew he was a sinner in his own right and just wanted to please God, please his dad, please everyone around him.

If you want to see this movie for time-pass, you will surely like it. Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice are well portrayed in the movie. Colin Powell and the others also are shown in the movie. You can see the mindset of each character – who thinks in what terms, what are their loyalties etc. you can know a lot of stuff just by seeing the movie. Don’t watch the movie with a preconceived notion about Bush. Don’t watch it with a feeling that it will make you feel good about Bush. Watch it if you want to know the other side of Bush, the one that is rarely explored by the mainstream media. Then make your own judgments.

George W. Bush entered office as a naïve and inexperienced person, who had his own party in control of the Congress. He wanted to change the world and give it a new direction. He faced a national catastrophe (9/11) which became the tuning point for the entire world. He was confident in himself, in God and in the people around him. He was a confident man. Does that sound similar to you in any way w.r.t the present elections in the USA? Well, if it does, then you must also know who is more similar to George W. bush when he wins the election on November 5th.

Do see the movie. It gets a 9/10 from my side for the great acting of Josh Brolin and the direction of Oliver Stone. I liked it, so did many of the neutral I-don’t-love-or-hate-bush Democrats. Do tell me what you felt about the movie.


1 comment:

Shashi said...

well-written post.