Man of the Year (2006)
There’s not a year goes by without an election film being released. And after seeing last years below par effort The Campaign by Will Ferrell who usually delivers the good when it comes to comedy. I look more to the likes of The Ides of March (2011) when I want my political drama. Then comes along Man of the Year (2006) which I thought would be another miss of a film with Robin Williams in the lead role, opposite Christopher Walken who has yet to let me down.
Williams gets away with it this time in this interesting take on a presidential election, taking up the independent ticket as political comedian Tom Dobbs who is once inspired by a member of his audience to run for the big role at the White House. A throw-away comment. But for a man who is seen to be very much on the pulse of politics and what the country is feeling, he is willing to throw his hat into the ring and give it ago.
Starting out on the campaign as the straight man, no jokes whatsoever, even with his campaign manager Jack Menken (Walken) who is crying for him to have been the man who the public wants and loves. Instead he continues on, talking about the issues that matter to the people. He also unlike the Republican and Democrat candidates, chooses to have no campaign adverts, knowing that they cost more than the funding they need. Leaving the party in the hands of the fundraisers, who twist their arms in congress, never free to do what they were elected to do. He’s a breath of fresh air amongst the party politics that blinds both parties.
The hard work pays off with 30 days to go until election day, Dobbs is invited to take part in the last presidential debate, now having enough attention. Taking that opportunity he really makes himself known, owning the debate, stepping over and away from the rules of debate to passionate talk to the people. Having a view outside of Washington D.C. to see what is really going on. Adding to that his platform to speak out.
As the last few hours of the election are closing in, over at the computer company whose technology is being used to cast votes, is cause for concern for one worker Eleanor Green (Laura Linney) who when she raises her concerns about the very possible glitch in the program, she is quickly passified by a patronising email, hoping that she’ll go away, along with the problem. The problem doesn’t go away and puts Tom Dobbs in the White House, the outside chance has made it, unaware of what has happened. Beginning the next few weeks, not just blind to the prospect of being the most powerful man in the free world but to the reason behind him being there.
Guilt-ridden Green decides to meet with Dobbs who at first welcomes her into his circle of friends and campaign team who are as unaware to her being there as Dobbs himself. That’s until she plucks up the courage after being fired from her job in spectacular style that would see her look un-credible. With the truth out in the open to the group, what should be done, should the truth be hidden, accept that he has been voted in by the public, as they were led to believe. Things soon heat up for Green who is pursued by her old company, stopping at nothing to see her silenced until it’s too late.
A fascinating film that sees a pubic figure whose job is to bring the politicians to account seemingly beats them at their own game. With the help of glitch-filled software too, anything is possible in the world of politics. Also what is right when you get so far into something, can you back out, or is it right to see it through to the end. Be in a position that is not rightfully yours. Man of the Year is a pleasant surprise when it comes to Williams who is a comedian turned actor who has had a series of hit and miss films. Placed in the political world that seems alien to most audiences to place him, which he fits in well with this tailored role.
- Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken get crazy in ‘Seven Psychopaths’ (examiner.com)
- The Ides of March ~ A film review/critique ~ (ramblesofamadman.com)