State of Play
Time/Place: 4:50 showing at Ocean Ranch 7 (thanks again, Tex)
When I first saw the trailer, it captured my interest. I’m not a big political intrigue nut – although the older I get, the more politically invested I become. It wasn’t the “full-blown conspiracy” angle that interested me, however, it was the journalism aspect that brought me to the theater yesterday. I knew next to nothing about the overall plot (beyond what’s in the trailer), and I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. It could have been overly slanted or annoyingly political – but I’m glad to say that it wasn’t.
The plot was basic: revolving around corporate power, politics, and revealing truths in spite of it all. What made the movie really interesting for me was that it was more about the people behind the story. While most “political thrillers” focus on the story elements as the main source of entertainment, State of Play let the audience behind the scenes of such a story. It’s a movie that deals with people, as much as it does situations. There are a number of scenes that don’t necessarily move the story forward in a classic sense… but they are key for character development – and they are what made the movie.
Of course, this isn’t a period drama. There is the usual intrigue and tension that comes along with this type of movie. The fact that it is so character based adds to the tension because we actually care about the characters. They’re all human, with normal human reactions – there are no action heroes here. Similarly to The Dark Knight, a driving score throughout nearly the entire movie kept the pace constantly moving and the tension high. The movie’s greatest benefit is that while it weaves around conspiracies and political intrigue, by the end most all of that has crumbled away to reveal the real key points of the whole story: character and journalism. Everything about the movie was more than competent: the script, direction, performance. The movie was good, and I recommend it, so don’t let the grade below fool you. I didn’t leave the theater necessarily feeling emotionally affected by State of Play, and that’s what it takes to earn an “A” in a review here.
On a more personal note, this is the first time I got to see Rachel McAdams on the big screen, and while I think she is a great actress – she’s darn beautiful, too.