George Clooney's The Ides of March sets Venice fest rolling | hollywood | Hindustan Times
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George Clooney's The Ides of March sets Venice fest rolling

The 68th Venice International Film Festival began here last evening with George Clooney’s political thriller, The Ides of March, with the director and his principal cast walking the Lido’s Red Carpet. Gautaman Bhaskaran reports.

hollywood Updated: Sep 01, 2011 18:18 IST
Gautaman Bhaskaran

The 68th Venice International Film Festival began here last evening with George Clooney’s political thriller, The Ides of March, with the director and his principal cast walking the Lido’s Red Carpet.

Though one could say that The Ides of March may not be exactly an opening movie material, the Clooney-Grant Heslov written work (based on Beau Willimon's play, Farragut North) is gripping. So gripping that it, to use Festival Director Marco Mueller’s words, left one’s trouser creases intact. In other words, most people at the audience were not restless, fidgeting in their seats or looking at their watches.

What makes The Ideas of March a pure delight to watch is its story line of political sex and some superb acting by Clooney as US Democratic presidential candidate Mike Morris and Ryan Gosling as the campaign mastermind, Stephen Meyers.

When Morris, a liberal and honest politician, is caught having sex with a beautiful and smart intern, Evan Rachel Wood's Molly Stearns (who gets pregnant and needs to have an abortion), a political storm – much like what happened when Clinton was caught – seems to gather. The scandal threatens to ruin Morris’ career, particularly after he fires Meyers. But the young man could be the only guy who could save Morris.

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Gautaman Bhaskaran
The film is intelligent and is in the league of Clooney's earlier work, Good Night, and Good Luck. It is the kind of work that India ought to be making, restrained and thrilling at the same time. Above all, it underlines how compromises have to be made even by honest men, who might have just a single secret that needs to be kept away from the world. As Meyers tells Morris in a line that clinches the movie, one can start a costly war or bankrupt the country, but one cannot afford to have an affair with an intern. Clinton found that out, though he escaped. But Morris was not too sure that he could be as lucky.

And, yes, Clooney may well be our generation's Clarke Gable, that intense actor who got Hollywood breathless once upon a time. And this evening on the Venice’s Lido clearly belonged to Clooney.

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