…and the quest to see everything

In The Loop

Armando Iannucci‘s In The Loop, a condensed version of his BBC series “The Thick of It,” is very masculine about the events before the War in Iraq. It also begs the question – how did Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi), the Prime Minister’s  Director of Communications, get into power? Did he intimidate the PM or ‘demonstrate’ what he could do others? The funny thing is, Tucker’s bravado and invasive methods also calls into attention how we’re only seeing ministers, directors, secretaries and generals. They in turn tell their lowers and the interns that war is good and that’s what the heads of government think is best. There’s skepticism in my part at least, the real powers that be are faceless, and Tucker and crew use that quality to do what they want.

I try to up the voices I hear within the movie. Nationality? It’s funny enough to watch thrice, but maybe it’s because hearing curse words in a Scottish accent or whispered in an English accent than is better than doing so in an American one. Capaldi layers the torture quip, breathing life on Tucker’s un-bottled energy and exasperation. Or maybe gender is the sharp knife to cut the roast? Maybe not, with Judy Molloy (Gina McKee), at one point telling Malcolm ‘Do you like how I’m telling you what’s going on where you are.’ She’s gentle yet strong despite of Malcolm’s bellowing, refusing to play the game unlike US. Assistant Secretary on Diplomacy Karen Clark (Mimi Kennedy) and one of her aides, Liza (Anna Chlumsky). Liza, by the way, uses too many hand gestures and widening her eyes showing how overwhelmed she is with her situation, being the one who has written an unwelcome paper outlining the likely negative outcomes of the war. And the thing is, it’s not Karen or Liza that comes out unscathed, it’s Judy.

The more I watch In The Loop and get to its ending, the more it makes me feel like crap because on the surface level it lets the loudmouthed bad people win. Politicians. Maybe I’m just seeing a disconnect between then and now, the movie not foreshadowing the consequences for the people who pushed the war. But what about Liza, being reluctant about her paper because her career is on the line. Judy’s boss, Minster of International Development Simon Foster (Tom Hollander), is an equally spineless climber, stumbling into an anti-war quotable and becomes ambivalent about it after Malcolm ‘bollocks’ him. The movie intentionally the movie doesn’t have a good guy with any fortitude, neither.

2 responses

  1. I wish I was friends with you on real life, that way when my friends tell me annoying things like “You’re overthinking things, Andrew.” I can just say, “At least I’m not Paolo.”

    Meaning…I love this. Also, you make me even less eager to rewatch this because it really is, ultimately, a feel bad comedy. I always have this unremitting propensity to feel ties for the bad characters or the spineless ones (I’d rather you not analyse that). And, I felt a bit badly for STUPID Simon at the end and his assistant (That line about sleeping with Liza to stop the war in some way. HILARIOUS.) The performances are ace, and not just Capaldi (Kennedy in particular is a stunning…the bloody teet, yikes.)

    Umm, rambling much? To close, I think it means for us to feel queasy and disturbed as we laugh, in short – excellent comedy.

    March 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    • LOL. I was one of the few people analyzing The Three Musketeers’ sexual politics. But it’s surprising when I turn my brain off, which happens mostly during the spring/summer. For obvious release reasons.

      The more I think about it, I feel as if there’s a little tinge of conscience within Capaldi’s character. Like he fights so hard for the war to happen because of what he’s seen. That’s like one scene and the methods he uses. Blech… But if I could see the movie three times (twice on the big screen) there must be something in it. Like the jokes in the first hour.

      March 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s