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Mace & Crown | April 27, 2018

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No Need to Beware the Ides of March

By Emma Needham

“Beware the Ides of March,” the famous words said to Julius Caesar warning him of his impending death. Well, this movie isn’t quite the same as Julius Caesar’s adventures, but it is just as gripping. “Ides of March” refers not to a character’s death, but to the democratic primary, where either Senator Pullman, played by Michael Mantell, or Governor Mike Morris, played by George Clooney, will continue the race for the presidency. “Ides of March” was made to be a great movie and nothing less, being that it is both directed and written by George Clooney, contains an amazing cast whose acting is superb, and holds a fantastic story.

The story’s main protagonist is Stephen Meyers, played by Ryan Gosling, who is one of the campaign managers assisting Governor Morris. Stephen thinks of the governor as a friend and firmly believes in him, an uncommon view among most politicians. Most politicians are in it just for the win, which this naïve thirty year old refuses to do. The conflict starts when Tom Duffy, played by Paul Giamatti the campaign manager for Morris’s rival, begins to show an interest in Stephen and suggests that he come work for him. Stephen refuses saying “I’ll do or say anything if I believe in it, but I have to believe in the cause,” which he doesn’t in the case of Senator Pullman. The story gets out, though, that Stephen met with Tom Duffy, and chaos ensues. Stephen must learn that no one in the political business is a friend, and that he must change how he does things if he wishes to continue his career.

No one can deny that “Ides of March” was unbelievably casted, including the talents of Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Semour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, and Marisa Tomei. Ryan Gosling played his character beautifully and was particularly good at being able to show his character’s dramatic change throughout the movie. When something happens, the audience is able to feel what Stephen is feeling.. George Clooney is fantastic as always, perfectly depicting the life of a politician, through the panic, the stress, the emotions, and the mistakes. So much more can be said for the other amazing performances, but that would take up another two pages. Not only was “Ides of March” casted well, but every performance is believable and real.

Because “Ides of March” is a movie based on the goings-on of politicians, there is no physical action, so the director must find some way to keep the film interesting. A great way this is done is through sound. Overall, it is a quiet movie, which gets the audiences’ heart beating without them realizing it. One of the best scenes to illustrate this concept is when Governor Morris is in a press conference and feels his phone buzz, and when he looks to see who it is, he panics. Right then, the sound fades to just the buzzing of his phone while he desperately looks around the room for the source. It keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, wondering what will happen.

What is great about this movie is that there is no one villain. The characters might not do the right things, but no one is the enemy. In a strange way though, everyone is without being bad people; everybody manipulates everyone to win. “Ides of March” is different from other political movies because it is not a conflict between the president and the people or two political parties, but rather between two democratic candidates, and it still manages to play out just as harshly and hateful as would be expected between two different parties. This movie shows the truth behind politics, and illustrates for us everything that could possibly be happening beyond our eyes. The ending will leave people wanting more and is the perfect way to conclude this particular chapter of the characters’ lives. “Ides of March” is an extremely well done movie that will no doubt be nominated for some Oscars, one of which will most likely be “Best Picture.” This is a movie that the audience will think about long after they leave the theater.

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