Saturday, March 28, 2009


Oliver Stone is no stranger to political films with a Presidential focus with previous outputs on JFK, Nixon and now on Americas 43rd leader George W Bush.

The film itself, although released in 2008, only goes as far as the American led invasion of Iraq in 2003. For the most part, the film tells the story of Bush from the mid-60s as a college student to the end of his first term as President in a back and forth manner which suggests that earlier actions and events effect later decisions. However, this does not work well as a story driven method and I would have preferred a straight chronilogical narrative.

Stone weaves a blend of fact and interpreted fiction, which at times, due to the character of Bush, tends to lean towards a comedic aspect - his blunders and inability to prounounce words giving the film a subdued edge and makes you wonder why Stone didn't make this this an out and out satirical movie rather than make a hash at serious interpretation of Bush's life.

Ingaging at times, the film lacks any real spark to give much emphasis on any serious decisions reached and one does not care much for any of the characters concerned, at least from a personal point of view. Bush himself is played with suitable aplomb by Josh Brolin. However, some of the roles played, especially by Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright) and Condoleezza Rice (Thandie Newton), are at best unconvincing.

Ultamitely W is a sluggish genre-crossing behemoth that doesn't quite know where it belongs and falls through the cracks in what it tries to achieve.
Everyone will have their own opinion on this President, and in Stones case, it's not one I much care for.

I would give this film 5.2 pretzels out of 10



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