As a film, this hasn’t aged well. The various elements, especially the acting, now seem dated and… well, lousy. In its day we overlooked all its shortcomings because it was grand and relevant and seemingly true.
That political sweep still resonates. But I suspect that where the film reflected political reality, it and its siblings now create political reality. And thats what makes this worth watching because the focus on the story is politics as theatre.
It is not just simple theatre where an illusion is created that seems real. This is a reality that is drawn out of the viewers. Our huckster literally says you‘re hicks and I’m a hick too. It is a very clever form of theatre that works best in politics. I’m writing this before the 2004 presidential election in the US.
One politician in that race (Bush) is a privileged son from New England. Went to Yale. Tapped by Skull and Bones.
Yet he affects a Texas drawl and a manner that says, I’m a hick with the implication that I’m you. Worked for him once at least.
Posted in 2004
Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.