Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Thank You for Smoking

‘That's the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you're never wrong.’ -Nick Taylor in Thank you for Smoking

One of the best movies to watch and spend your 8 bucks on this year. I just wonder why so few theatres are screening this film. Everywhere, it’s just “Superman Returns”. Guess fantasy wins reality hands-down. ARGH…

Movie Trailer:

Thank You For Smoking movie trailer

Movie Review: (adapted from Jon H Ochiai’s comments)

In the opening scene of "Thank You for Smoking", Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) Tobacco Lobbyist is a guest on the Joan Lunden Talk Show with a young boy Robin, who is a dying of lung cancer. Nick somewhat sympathetic, makes his argument that it is in his best interest to keep people like Robin alive so they can continue to smoke cigarettes. Nick proclaims that the Tobacco Industry will spend $50 million on campaign to educate kids against smoking. Nick wins over the entire studio audience for his humanitarian stance.

Satire lives and thrives in Jason Reitman's "Thank You for Smoking". Reitman's screenplay based on the book by Christopher Buckley. "Thank You for Smoking" is painfully hilarious and a clever dark comedy focused on the multi-billion dollar Tobacco Industry. Writer and Director Rietman has a similar conceit as his main character Nick Naylor as he tells his story in the context of freedom and the consequence of choice—however skewed the context. Aaron Eckhart is amazing as Nick, Time Magazine's "Sultan of Spin". As Nick describes himself, "Michael Jordan plays ball. Charles Manson kills people. I talk." His Nick Naylor is the Vice-President of the Academy of Tobacco Studies, or in English he is a Tobacco Lobbyist. He is a master at what he does. Nick is also the political target of Senator Ortolan Finistirre, who wants to stamp all cigarettes with a "poison" label.

Every week Nick has dinner with the MOD squad—that would be the "Merchants of Death." Polly Bailey is with the Alcohol Lobby. Bobby Jay Bliss is with the Firearms Lobby. Nick reminds Polly that she is only responsible for two deaths per day, only.

In a signature scene reporter Heather asks Nick, "Why do you do what you do?" Unflinching Nick says, "Population control." Then he cops to "Everyone's got to pay the mortgage…" This is funny and dead on.

Director Rietman maintains this most absurd ecology—there is no envelope for his material and at the same time he generates genuine sympathy for his characters. And in the business world it is all about the bottom line.

In another classic scene Nick delivers a brief case with $25 million to the lung cancer stricken Marlborough Man—who can either keep the money for his family; thus shutting his mouth to the media or give it all away to charity. The offer is non-negotiable. Everyone has to pay their mortgage. Walking on the Santa Monica Pier with his son Joey, Nick advises on the virtues of being morally "flexible". The writing in "Thank You for Smoking" is so smart and drop dead funny—so to speak.

Director Rietman goes where few dare, and makes us laugh at our darker nature. He also tells a story of the responsibilities of freedom and choice, and the consequences all with a sense of humor. See "Thank You for Smoking"—it is one of the year's best.


Post a Comment

<< Home

adopt your own virtual pet!