Dramatic, idealistic and downright political are the very descriptions that the new George Clooney film, “The Ides of March”, aims to achieve. In addition to capturing the classic plot of a political meltdown, it also strives for political conception and the reality behind the promises and ideals of a political candidacy.
Not only does this film, based on Beau Willimon’s Farragut North, mark the fourth that Clooney has directed, but he also co-wrote the script and played the supporting role of the aspiring Governor Mike Morris, who is running for presidency. “The Ides of March” offers a good story that is not overly dramatic and ambitious and focuses on political power and the unscrupulous truth behind it.
The film stars Ryan Gosling as Stephen Meyers, the young and idealistic campaign staffer of Governor Morris, as well as Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, and Evan Rachel Wood.
Stephen works as a dedicated campaign staffer for Governor Morris, fueled by his passion for politics and the reformation that could be made possible through the ideology and promises of the Governor. Soon, however, he finds himself in conflict with Paul Zara (Hoffman), Governor Morris’s campaign manager, and finds himself being recruited by Tom Duffy (Giamatti) on the side of the opposition. The plot continues to intensify with the arrival of the desirable Molly Stearns (Wood), an intern whose loyalty is open-ended and whose innocence continues to betray information throughout the film.
Though the plot focuses strongly on political careers and the decadence behind them, “The Ides of March” is still a somewhat erstwhile tale recreated in different angles. While it forefronts the corruption, deception, and ambition of modern politics, it focuses less on the private life of the candidate himself and more on the young idealist, whose dreams of political rectification are crushed in the face of reality.
One of the movie’s largest strengths lies in the powerful performances by Gosling and the serious and sharp rival campaign managers played by Hoffman and Giamatti. Gosling remains resolute throughout the movie, even as he finds himself in between the dynamic and hefty political personas of Hoffman and Giamatti.
“The Ides of March” is a riveting film, especially for fans of political exchange, ambition, and the fight for supremacy.