The Ides of March: Beware the heavy dialogue?
By Jamie, Queen of the Trailer Park
“Beware the Ides of March”-so says the Soothsayer in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. Being somewhat less than proficient in Shakespeare, I Googled my heart out to find a more detailed explanation. I found eliteraturenotes.com, but sadly I’m not proficient in literature notes either. I finally found an explanation I could understand on infoplease.com.
See, The Ides of March refers to March 15th. The ancient Roman calendar had names for the 1st , 7thand 15th days of every month (Kalends, Nones and Ides. In modern times, we call them Rent, Cable Bill and Utility Payment). Basically, the Soothsayer was warning Caesar that he would be killed that day. Apparently Caesar was too busy being a megalomaniac and perfecting his salad recipe and wearing togas to listen. Sure enough, Brutus shanks him on March 15th. Thus the balance of political power was toppled in ancient Rome.
The Ides of March, the 2011 movie, is also about the balance of power. It stars George Clooney as a slick (its Clooney, of course he’s slick) political candidate and Ryan Gosling as his idealistic, talented campaign man. Gosling is something of a political wunderkind, but seems to have maintained his moral compass. A miraculous feat, to be sure. Then, we see Marisa Tomei telling him that if his man wins the election, he’s got a guaranteed job in the White House. If not, he is banished back to a consulting position. So we’ve got a dilemma. How far will Gosling’s charater be willing to go to secure his future? Will he lose his moral high ground in the process?
Then we’ve got Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour-Hoffman as rival politicians vying for a piece of Gosling’s talent and ultimately the vote. An underhanded competition, threats and lies are delivered left and right from this stellar supporting cast. Then, at the 1:57 mark, it seems that we’ve got a big change in the game.
This is the stuff that makes a movie trailer. This is what compelled me to watch the trailer twice. I can tell you, this is going to be dialogue-heavy; a “thinker” of a movie. A taught, dramatic film for adults. And that excites me but it also worries me. These movies tend to do less-than-stellar numbers at the box office because “thinkers” repel a large numbers of moviegoers. Because as we all know, American movie audiences are kind of dumb. No offence. Individually, there are discerning viewers who know that American Psycho is really a dark comedy and Michael Bay movies murder your soul. You, you folks are smart and might appreciate this movie.
But those of you who are foaming at the mouth to see Rise of the Planet of The Apes and the droves of people who spent $1 billion dollars seeing the third Transformers movie, The Ides of March is not a movie for you. And that’s OK. It might not be a movie for me either. I’m not claiming to be the sharpest knife in the drawer. I am, after all, the girl who had to Google til her thumbs hurt just to figure out the movie’s title.
The Ides of March opens October 7th. See the trailer here: