A suicidally disillusioned liberal politician puts a contract out on himself and takes the opportunity to be bluntly honest with his voters by affecting the rhythms and speech of hip-hop music and culture.
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One of the best political satires of the 90s. Beatty made the best film Melvin Van Peebles or Oliver Stone never thought to make. The movie is a product of the late Clinton '90s: a vessel for old school lefties to vent in the age of Clinton's concessions to the right that eventually led to Nader's popularity in the 2000 election. It took a few viewings for Beatty's bad rapping to annoy me less but I got there.
Relevant then. Even more so now. This just goes to show how aware people were of the broken political system in the '90s and how little (meaning nothing) was done to fix it in the following 18 years... and counting. There seems to be a lot of issues with Beatty's approach. It's intended to be a black comedy. The awkwardness of Beatty rapping and integrating himself in the black culture only strengthens the satire.
Somehow I missed why this was so amazing to everyone. I feel like I ought to watch it again but it really did nothing for me on the first viewing. Beatty's Bullworth was a provocateur but not in such a way that really clicked with me. Meh.
***1/2. Wish I could make it ****.... But Beatty's entirely laudable (and, I believe, real and thought-through) populism doesn't translate too effectively when he applies it to some of the stylistic choices (the music-video-moment attempts are dull if not awkward; most great videos are much better, this is autopilot/secondhand stuff - not to mention too frequent).
I agree with a lot of polemics in here but not in the way it was executed. Too many scenes of Beatty "rapping" and trying to ingratiate himself into HIS vision of "black culture". The love story subplot seemed to exist only so Beatty could makeout with Halle Berry