Film review: The CampaignBy Claire French
January 30, 2013
RUDE, crude and not one for the kids – The Campaign takes all that is serious about American elections and tries to turn it into something funny.
For those blissfully unaware of the dirty tactics of money-buys-all elections in the states, the attempts of two congress-hopefuls is somewhat similar to real life.
Smear campaigns; Google bombing; attack videos. It’s like real life… but worse. Congressman Cam Brady played by Will Ferrell isn’t used to being opposed. Winning four consecutive elections and being the only name on the ballot paper, the Democrat answers to nobody.
Seemingly in the bag, the womanising politician is not concerned by the forthcoming election, until super-Christian Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) gets put forward by two money-mad business baddies, who want to reclaim factories from China and enslave North Carolina’s residents to make the big bucks.
Part of the arms lobby with a wife, two kids and a couple of “commie” pugs, Marty’s life is taken over by his Republican campaign manager and a bombardment of media attention.
Fighting, sometimes physically, usually hilariously, with his political opponent, the pair play, tease and trick each other into unimaginable scenarios.
When election day comes, who will remain stronger? Through a series of rather hilarious gaffes and dirty tricks gone wrong, it’s clear neither could legitimately become a congressman. Whoever heard of a politician punching a baby or sleeping with their opponent’s wife?
So some of the scenarios may be a little far fetched – but isn’t that just politics?
To bring it all back down to earth, there is a cameo from Piers Morgan covering the political spat between the pair on his native CNN.
Brought out in time for the presidential and congressional elections in America last year, the film’s relevance may be questionable to the ordinary viewer. By now, we’ve forgotten about Mitt Romney and his interesting views.
And maybe not all of the gaffes of the last election reached our shores. But the point of the film remains: how far will candidates go to get elected?
This film might take smearing to a new level, but isn’t that just where we’re heading?