3.5 out of 5 (Very Good)
'The Campaign' irreverently funny and political
Satyen K. Bordoloi Mon, 03 Sep 2012
Deep truths need not be revealed in a dark, boring manner. It can also wear the veneer of seeming banality and irreverence. When it does so, the result becomes reverential. "The Campaign" is one such 'funny' film, which has some decent, but tacit commentary about life, politics and political-corporate nexus that makes it a delightful watch.
To defeat incumbent congressman Cam Brady (Will Farrell), who is refusing to cooperate with their plans to turn the state into a sweat shop full of Chinese workers, two business tycoon brothers put up an absolute nerd Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) to compete against him.
A wacky battle ensures where the two rivals leave no stone unturned, literally, to win the elections even at the cost of losing who they truly are.
"The Campaign" is deceptively simple film. At the face of it seems like a loud, raunchy and over the top comedy that is resorting to desperate measure (which often succeed hilariously) and seemingly dumb jokes to make you laugh.
Yet, if you look at American politics, you realise that this may seem outlandish, but it's not far from the truth. In reality, the candidates resort to more sophisticated ways of washing dirty linen in public, rather that this obvious mud-slinging. The intention remains the same - to win the election by hook or crook.
What the film thus becomes is an unintended lampoon, a hilarious satire on modern politics, its election process and the strong interference and influence of business in the 'business' of politics.
Director Jay Roach of "Austin Powers" and "Meet the Parents" fame seems to take Oscar Wilde's advice seriously where he had said that if you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh.
What works for the film is the perfect pairing of lead actors. Both Ferrell and Galifianakis bring out the best in their characters. If you thought chemistry can only exist between lovers, their comic chemistry of a irreverent kind will thrill the laughter out of you.
The only problem with the film is that its pace varies a bit and though you might find it a little uneven due to a script that needed much more tightening, it will still make you chuckle enough to make the trip to the theatre a worthwhile experience.
America goes into their presidential elections in a few months. This film is a perfect gift for these times as the incumbent gets ready to face the challenger with business funding and starting fights, from the sidelines.
Critic: Satyen K. Bordoloi
3.5 out of 5 (Very Good)