American satire is not dead

I saw the shorts and I heard the raves about it. It’s a satirical look at political lobbyists and the smoking industry in the United States, directed by an American, based on an American book. (The American director is Jason Reitman, son of Ivan, no less). My scepticism and curiosity evenly balanced, I went to the movies and saw …

Thank You for Smoking

Proof that evil industries have their fun side

The film begins by introducing us to the “evil” smoking-industry lobbyist, Nick Naylor (played excellently by Aaron Eckhart), who promptly faces off against a child with lung cancer on a TV talk-show. We know who ought to win, but it’s great fun to see it from the other side. Throughout the film, we barrack for our hero, while trying to ignore the moral conflict that this presents.

However, the film sneakily brings the moral conflict to the foreground, through Nick’s conversations with his family about his job. It’s a comedy with an intelligent side. Although, the fact it is a comedy allows you to laugh away the keen philosophical points without really dealing with them.

Perhaps this is the sort of movie that improves with a repeat viewing, when the farce is reduced to expose more of the irony. This means you can choose to enjoy it for the laughs or for the points it raises about the implications of a free society, the meaning of integrity, and the idea of safety. Good stuff!

My rating: 4.0 stars
****

I tried to follow the principles I’ve outlined here in writing this review. Hopefully, I’ve succeeded.

5 thoughts on “American satire is not dead”

  1. Hi Andrew,

    I have Operator a Firefox add-on but your review is not incdicated in my Operator tool bar, should it be? I have added a script for hReview that I found, perhaps that is the problem?

  2. Hi Walter.

    There is a bug in the hReview plugin that results in the fn element being at the same level as the item element, rather than below it. Anyway, other, less strict Firefox plugins, such as Tails Export, do cope with it, but I will fix this in the next version.

    Thanks.

  3. Thanks for that Andrew. I upgraded my Operator script and now it does show it, and indeed it complains “No fn specified on the item”.

    I also have Tails export, but it does not see this review at all.

  4. Tails Export 0.3.2 running in Firefox 2.0.0.11, and on the left side it shows: “Proof that evil industries have their fun side
    Thank You for Smoking
    html”

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