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Satiric look at American politics
on 9 February 2008
A documentary filmmaker follows the campaign of folk singer-turned-senatorial candidate Bob Roberts (Tim Robbins). Roberts is ultra-conservative, espousing a return to pre-hippie values and saying it's okay to be rich and successful. Roberts' crazed fans idolize the flag-waving Bible-thumper and there's only one man who casts aspersions on him: Small-time journalist Bugs Raplin (Giancarlo Esposito) claims he has evidence Roberts is involved with shading dealings, and Roberts' handlers don't like that one bit.
Tim Robbins wrote and directed this mockumentary, filmed in shaky-cam. It races from one campaign scene to another, painting a picture of a wholesome, inspired candidate who is above reproach - but if you know Robbins, you know it's all done sarcastically and, in fact, shows Roberts to be a slick, prepackaged, underhanded sneak at best, and a law-breaking criminal at worst.
This film makes right-wing politicos out to be nasty and even dangerous hypocrites, so how much you'll like it depends pretty much on your own political slant. For me, it was okay, frantic, exhausting, slyly funny and perceptive at times and heavy-handed at others. Bottom line: It's a good movie to watch during this election year.