Saturday, September 5, 2009

In the Loop

Regardless of our nationality, we have good reasons to appreciate In the Loop. In fact, with all the serious political films we're used to see, it's refreshing to see one that pokes fun at those who represent us. Besides, despite its few flaws in the script, In the Loop's humour is never vulgar and is sure going to entertain you.

During an interview on radio, Simon Foster (Tom Hollander), Great Britain's Minister for International Development, accidentally states that a war in the Middle East is "unforeseeable". Now that he regrets it Simon tries everything he can to avoid supporting an eventual war in the Middle East despite the pressure from Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi), the Prime Minister's "enforcer". Therefore, what should Simon do while he's diplomatically visiting the USA?

Obviously, as a comedy, In the Loop brings quite a fresh air. With a limited use of music and a rather simple editing, director Armando Iannuci manages to take us as hostages and insert us in this strange world of politics. Of course, although we shouldn't take things too seriously in this film, we just can't help ourselves when we see how the character of Simon Foster embodies the image of many Canadian politicians (who are extremely afraid to say in public their true beliefs) even though he's a British. In Simon's case, since the war in Iraq hasn't started, he doesn't want to either publicly show support for it or be opposed to it.

Obviously, without being too vulgar, In the Loop provides us with some good material to laugh at political correctness and other bad habits from politicians. Moreover, while we know that the characters are not played in a very serious way, we can see that the cast did its job with enthusiasm. No wonder Tom Hollander, as Simon Foster, looks so much like a politician. Besides, although the script evidently uses a known historical event (we all know that the war is coming), the script is not too predictable in that it puts Simon in front of a funny dilemma: blindly vote in favour of the war or follow his principles (if he has any).

However, despite its qualities, In the Loop gives you the feeling that it's longer than it actually has to be. In fact, while many scenes try to spice things up, we certainly didn't need to see how some supporting characters are giving a headache to Simon. For instance, I could have lived without the scenes concerning the leaking of some official documents.

Rating: 3.5/5

Origin:UK (2009)
Length:106 minutes
Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin and Tony Roche
Director:Armando Iannucci
Starring:Tom Hollander, Peter Capaldi, Gina McKee, James Gandolfini, Chris Addison and Anna Chlumsky

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