'The Ides of March' is a political drama-thriller film that released in 2011 to critical acclaim and proved to be a resounding box-office hit. The film is an adaptation of the 2008 play, 'Farragut North' written by Beau Willimon. The play itself is loosely based on the 2004 Democratic primary campaign of Howard Dean (American politician and Ex-Governor of Vermont).
The feature revolves around Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) who is the Junior Campaign Manager for Mike Morris (George Clooney), Governor of Pennsylvania and a Democratic presidential candidate. As the presidential primary heats up, Meyers struggles with his aspirations. He becomes torn apart by love, ambition and by the rude awakening of corruption within politics.
I wasn't so sure about this George Clooney directed feature, which looked like it was going to be boring containing an over-dose of American politics. Before you read further, I would like to say that I was wrong.
Well on watching it, I was compelled with the story, which contained almost about everything from friendship, lust, innocence, corruption, love, backstabbing to revenge. Oops, the main theme I forgot to mention is politics and that too in moderation. From the first minute to the final seconds, the movie keeps your attention. The start is a bit slow but the pace speeds up by every passing moment. The build-up of tension is fantastic especially in the latter stages. The finale is fitting and really enjoyable.
The performances of the actors is what really makes this movie work. George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman (Senior Campaign Manager Paul Zara) and Paul Giamatti (Opposing Campaign Manager Tom Duffy) prove why they are heavyweights in acting. Marisa Tomei is just about okay as the egoistic news reporter Ida. I was a little disappointed with Molly Stearns (Evan Rachel Wood) who plays the love interest of Gosling, she seemed out of sorts and not up to the mark of the rest of the actors. Now, the best for the last, Mr Ryan Gosling acts with great intensity and matures with each passing scene. This is Gosling's show all the way.
The direction by George Clooney is impressive as this is a really interesting fare. However, in my opinion, he under utilized the services of Hoffman and Giamatti. I was so looking forward to both actors having a proper face-off but it never happens. In the other hand, Clooney does nail a cracking scene, which involves him and Gosling near the end. It's my favorite scene.
The background music score by Alexandre Desplat is full of suspense and actually keeps the pace of the film steady without dropping. A quality score.
'The Ides of March' is rather intelligent and one of the best political thrillers I've ever seen.