So Clairebo and I went to see dubyah last night and that is one very strange film. The two hours flew by- it is very entertaining. And it was annoying to have to listen to the idiots in the cinema who obviously learned everything they know about geopolitics from a poster they saw for sale in the Arts block one time as they laughed at inappropriate times, loudly. But it was entertaining.
So what is the problem? Well it is a compassionate depiction of the outgoing President, which is a good thing because it would be so easy to make an attack pic that it wouldn’t be fun to watch. But the on-the-surface empathy that depicts Bush as a confused but good-intentioned man who mistakenly believes he is the manipulator and not the manipulated hides something more malicious.
Since there are no accounts of the inside of the Bush presidency, the film is composed almost entirely of a serious of assumptions that are nothing but conjecture. The personalities that are drawn are as broad as you can imagine; Rumsfeld as a early onset Alzheimers victim, Powell as a saint and Cheney as the Satan. But the dialogue is all imagined. And it is driven along by this idea that Bush suffers from this appalling case of Freudian daddy-hating. For Stone’s film, that explains why he has made so many very serious mistakes. But that’s imagined. And it isn’t very profound. It leaves me unsettled about the movie.
What do you guys think? I feel like he tried to depict war as an absurd obscenity but ended up back in Charlie Wilson’s War chirpy territory. Stone draws out the irony of leaders discussing sacrifice while sleeping in their silk sheets and weighing up threats in their underground bunkers but the Freudian conceit at the heart of the film leaves me thinking Stone has missed the mark here.
Your Correspondent, Dumped a girl once for buying ugly stamps