...a blog by Richard Flowers

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 3031: Loop the Loop


Censorship, eh. Apparently Mr Almondy Noochy's film "In the Loop" is TOO RUDE for a fluffy elephant to go and see it.

Did that stop me? What the CAPALDI do you think!

Everyone is RIGHT: it is a VERY FUNNY FILM, although as it gets into the last act, you tend to stop laughing because you realise that it is all too TRUE.

Everyone is RIGHT AGAIN: the funniest bit is the UNINTENTIONALLY PRESCIENT moment about expenses claims and the "adult" channel, although the scene where Mr Peter Capaldi and Mr Tony Soprano go toe-to-toe is AMAZING acting too.

So DO take your baby elephants along to see this movie even IF you have to disguise them as FACE-VELCRO and say: "look at my GREY BEARD, young person on the cinema door, I am CLEARLY old enough to see this movie!"

However, I do have to say something about WHO'S WHO.

It is bad enough that "The Thick of It" takes place in a PARALLEL UNIVERSE where Lord Blairimort's chief of spin, Mr Alistair Henchman, is played by Mr Peter Capaldi under the name of Mr Malcolm Rhyming-Slang (pronounced Bast… Bad-word). But THIS movie takes place in a PARALLEL parallel universe, where most of the same people exist doing mostly the same things but with different names.

So Mr Chris Addison who plays hapless junior policy-wonk Olly in "The Thick of It" plays hapless over-promoted policy-wonk Toby in "In the Loop"; Mr Alex MacQueen plays outclassed baldy special advisor to the Prime Monster Mr Julius Nicholson in "The Thick of It" but plays equally outclassed baldy UN Ambassador Sir Jonathan Tutt in "In the Loop"; and so on. They are virtually the same characters played in almost exactly the same way, but with different names. It is VERY confusing!

For reason of him being convicted of really bad things, Mr Chris Langham is NOT appearing as a parallel parallel universe version of useless Minister for Social Affairs and Citizenship Mr Hugh. Instead this story spins around Mr Tom Hollandaise as not-quite-useless Minister of International Development Mr Simon.

It IS interesting that Minister Simon is allowed to have (just a little bit) more GUMPTION than Minister Hugh. Certainly he is as VENAL and SELF-SERVING and PATHETICALLY NEEDY. But he is also able to stand up to Mr Malcolm, if only very slightly, from time to time. He does at least float the vague idea that he MIGHT consider thinking about resigning over the war, even though he ends up BEING RESIGNED by the Americans and then by Mr Malcolm. And he does, on occasion, dish out a deserved UBER-SARCASTIC ticking off. In short he has his moments.

And speaking of SHORT – he managed to look very TINY stood next to Mr Addison. Which makes me wonder if ALL of the Pirates of The Caribbean were TEENY-TINY too, 'cos he looked NORMAL SIZED in THAT! (Mind you, Daddy says that Mr Hollandaise DID have nicer LEGS. Ooh, what SAUCE!)

I am not certain if the sub-plot with Mr Steve Coogan and a wall was ANNOYING or an important part of the SATIRE, sending up the essential ridiculousness of having the Secretary of State for International Development simultaneously responsible for trying to keep the world from falling into war AND trying to keep his constituency office wall from falling into a granny's garden. And, obviously, failing at either. Or indeed both.

I think it might have been annoying BECAUSE of Mr Steve Coogan, who was doing silly voices acting and silly bobble-hat acting, where everyone else was playing it straight.

On the other fluffy foot, isn't it really a GOOD thing that even our toppity-most ministers still have to deal with real stuff for real people?

In fact, if there was a PROBLEM with the film, it was that it seemed – rather like the British political class (in the film and out of it) – rather too IN LOVE with the Americans and the way the Americans did stuff.

The Americans might LIE and CHEAT and be generally MEAN (even the "nice" ones), but they got stuff DONE. Horrible illegal stuff, but it was what they wanted and it got done. (Even if the "nice" ones didn't get stuff done, there was sense that they COULD HAVE or MIGHT NEXT TIME.) The British failed miserably at everything up to and especially keeping their dignity.

At the end, you wanted Mr Malcolm to SCUPPER the whole illegal war JUST because nasty American Mr Lynton* had been RUDE to him. THAT would have been true to the CHARACTER and to the nature of the STORY (i.e. nothing gets done except for personal reasons). It is like a GODZILLA movie – nobody wants GODZILLA to get beaten by the bigger, nastier American monster, do they?!

(*incidentally everyone else seems to be spelling this Linton, like Clinton with a silent "C"… erm… but I'm sure I spotted his name on the door of his glass office with a "Y" like Anthony Charles Lynton with a silent Blairimort.)

The American system hands vast power over to an ELITE, many of whom – the film acknowledges – are only the same age as ME! And yet, this is allowed to be shown as a MORE EFFECTIVE form of Government than our own. It is, as they say, easy to be CYNICAL. And "In the Loop" is just being a bit too EASY here.

Nevertheless, you have GOT to admire a film from BBC FILMS – from the BBC! – that has the Horlicks to say: "it WAS a dodgy dossier"; "it WAS sexed up by Mr Malcolm – cough cough NOT Mr Alistair Henchman, ooooh no not at all cough cough".

(The only gag that I was expecting but that they DIDN'T do was for American researcher Liza to admit that her nerves about the paper that she wrote – and which her boss was waving about with abandon – were because she had downloaded the whole thing off the Wackypaedia.)

So laugh like a hooting thing and admire it for that. Or failing that, just sit back and admire the EXPLOSIVE EFFLORESCENT EXPLETIVES.


No comments: