Review: In The Loop

by Alec Berry

To simply say, “I loved this movie” would be an understatement. Smart, witty, ridiculous and at points a bit shocking, this film is rich with reasons of why we should not place too much faith in politicians.

This movie is hysterical. Watching it, I could not help but fall in love with the conversations. The retaliatory manner and the sensibility of “I don’t know what’s going on” are the beautiful portions of this film to sit back and enjoy and laugh along with. Peter Capaldi’s performance as Malcolm Tucker leads the charge in the area of retaliation with his crude, back alley diction. Constantly throughout the film he provides the hot-headed charge in which he tears apart anyone who tries to speak with him, calling them all sorts of four letter words and criticizing the establishment.  Yet, most of the time, Malcolm tends to be the only one making any sense. He understands how to take charge, and he understands the concept that sometimes leaders have to be crude, rude jerks to get objectives accomplished. This is where the conflict of the film arises. Malcolm knows what needs to be done, but he is stuck second stringing behind public figurehead, Simon Foster, who is played by Tom Hollander.

Hollander portrays the blissfully ignorant politician beautifully. The character of Simon Foster is a high-standing elected official, yet he does not have a clue how to act, how to think ahead or how to work with other politicians. In many instances throughout the movie the character reminds me very much of the Michael Scott character from the American Office: the guy whom you cannot explain his success any other way rather than dumb luck. Foster constantly says the wrong thing with his babbling form of expression and ill thought preparation. The viewer never garners any sense from the character that “he should be in charge”. The character is a bumbling child more fascinated by American airports and shark documentaries. It is this ignorance and wondering mind in the character that drives the point of this film home. The point that the faith we place in our world leaders is a lost cause because most of the guys probably only know as much as we do or maybe less, and, using the character of Malcolm as an example, the real work and understanding probably comes not from our public figureheads giving speeches, but from the men and women working behind the scenes. The politicians we elect in most cases do not understand strategy or how to communicate globally. They are more occupied by their public appearance and approval rating, and it is that factor that In the Loop loves to pick upon.

This is a must see film. No doubt.

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