The Ides Of March could be easily one of my most favorite political thrillers primarily because of the fact that it is one of the most absorbing political thrillers that I have come across in many years. It’s simplistic in its approach mankind the film enjoyable and understandable for one and all. The happenings are easier to fathom and thus the audience quickly forms a bond with the protagonist. Yes we have a protagonist in Steven (Ryan Gosling) who is an assistant campaign manager for one Morris (George Clooney) who is running for president. Steven is deputy to the campaign manager Paul (Philip Seymour Hoffman) a man who is high on loyalty.
Steven strikes off a relationship, mostly physical with one of the interns at the firm and soon gets to know some dirty little secrets about the man running for president which leads to him landing up in a a situation which could take him either to the top floor of political power or downhill into the gutters. He is also conned into situations which he cannot control and thereby gets to rub arms with some of the dirtiest and meanest men which in turns shapes him into a ruthless political assassins from the uptight and dreamy eyed staffer that he starts off as.
Ides Of March is not political commentary but more of an entertaining look at the functioning of t he campaign and the politics that can happen surrounding it. At first look it might seem uninteresting but with the dialogs and different situations building up with every bit of action leading to the next and the consequences affecting the forth coming happenings, the story builds up into an unrelenting drama which holds on to you till the end credits start rolling. One of the biggest contributors to this fact will gain be the flamboyant acting by the principal cast apart from the superb story.
Ryan Gosling turns in one of the best acts of his career essaying a staffer who starts of as an uber cool and confident man who knows exactly what he is doing. But as the story progresses things start getting out of his control faster than he can clean up. His frustrations, confusions, et all are brilliantly brought out brilliantly by Gosling. George Clooney is his usual self and brings his uncanny timing and charisma to the role Morris. Hoffman is brilliant and Giamatti does a superb job in a role which may be short but carries a lot of importance. Evan Rachel Wood is apt for her role.
The film relies heavily on prolonged dialog sequences between characters. Dialogs about politics, dialogs about morality and above all dialogs about winning and losing. Interestingly, these dialogs are the highpoint of the film which communicate the story of the film and also give us a sneak peek into the psych of the characters. The dialogs are the USP of this film. That’s something which we don’t get to say about too many films these days.
Overall, The Ides of March is just as entertaining as it is enlightening. This is one film which gives us a well packed and compressed view on the functioning of the political machinery during a key period in the year of reckoning of one of the greatest political powers of the world. Propelled by noteworthy performances, The Ides Of March is bound to cater to your thirst for entertainment and quality.