'The Ides of March' Examiner.com DVD Review, Written by: Karen Benardello
Political films often strive to showcase the views of the director and screenwriter, and often times only appeal to the people who agree with their opinions. While George Clooney, who not only starred in the political drama ‘The Ides of March,’ but also directed, co-wrote and produced it as well, infused his liberal beliefs into the movie, he also created unique characters that audiences can relate to. The filmmaker interestingly didn’t just present his views in the film, which is based on the play ‘Farragut North’ by Beau Willimon; he also showed how they can change people’s attitudes, beliefs and personalities.
‘The Ides of March,' which is now available to rent on DVD at select Long Island RedBox locations, follows Junior Campaign Manager Stephen Myers (played by Ryan Gosling), who is working to help secure the Democratic presidential candidacy for Pennsylvania Governor Mike Morris (played by Clooney). Stephen works under Mike’s Senior Campaign Manager, Paul Zara (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman), as they strive to win the Ohio primary, which will nearly guarantee the nomination.
After a debate, Myers is asked by rival Campaign Manager Tom Duffy (portrayed by Paul Giamatti) to switch campaigns and work for Mike’s rival, Senator Pullman, who is also striving for the Democratic nomination. Myers is initially weary about not working for his friend anymore, but his views of Mike change after he discovers a secret between the governor and intern Molly Stearns (played by Evan Rachel Wood). The campaigner also becomes upset after his meeting with Tom is leaked by his presumed friend, New York Times reporter Ida Horowicz (portrayed by Marisa Tomei).
While ‘The Ides of March’ is one of Clooney’s major projects, Gosling is the main actor to watch in the political drama. He convincingly portrays Stephen as someone who strives to succeed in his political career, and enjoys devoting his life to his professional aspirations. As the scandalous events in the film unfold, Gosling naturally develops, matures and transforms his character, based on the corrupted and selfish acts of his fellow politicians.
Stephen wants to do the right thing and positively change Americans’ lives, but becomes discouraged when he sees what Mike, Paul, Tom and even Ida will do to further their careers at the expense of others. His optimism fades and is replaced by cynicism when he realizes he betrayed his ideals for political success and revenge.
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