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The Manchurian Candidate reviewed on www.chrishigh.com


 

 

 

  

Chris High reviews 'The Manchurian Candidate' DVD.

The Manchurian Candidate
Paramount DVD

Cover of the DVD: The Manchurian Candidate


Denzel Washington - Meryl Streep - John Voight - Liev Schreiber
Directed by Jonathan Demme
Based On the Novel Written By Richard Condon
2004
"Everything Is Under Control"


 

What better time to release a political thriller, based around the validity of the integrity of the American Governmental System; Election USA, 04.

This remake of the 1962 movie starring Frank Sinatra, is slick, fast paced and - above all - credible in these times of chemical warfare and corporate dominance.
When his army unit is ambushed during the first Gulf War, Sergeant Raymond Shaw (Schreiber) saves his fellow soldiers just as his commanding officer, Major Ben Marco (Washington), is knocked unconscious. Brokering the incident for political capital, Shaw eventually becomes a vice-presidential nominee, while Marco is haunted by dreams of what happened - or didn't happen - in Iraq.

As Marco investigates, the story begins to unravel to the point where he questions everything he holds dear and some very powerful people at Manchurian Global Corporation become desperate to stop him from finding out what really happened.

The star of the film is undoubtedly Meryl Streep. She is at her feisty best as Shaw's freakishly control loving mother, Eleanor, who is desperate to see her son succeed where her gender has doomed her to failure. Streep dominates in every scene she appears and often underplays to maximum affect.

The picture is beautifully shot, with subliminal messages aplenty. The campaign slogan of Shaw's un-named party - Secure Tomorrow - flashes up and infiltrates the psyche with a haunting ability. The moving people behind frosted glass as Shaw and Marco meet in private, add to the illusion that this might just be a nightmare.

The plot gets the viewer thinking "hey, could this happen?" which is never a bad thing. Especially where the American voting public is concerned judging by their choice of leader for the past four - and future four - years. It's time to start questioning what we are fed at every turn, surely? Oh, and are we any better in the UK? No, I think not. If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken, twisted by knaves to lay a trap for fools - and all that!

The Manchurian Candidate is an excellent homage to an already classic movie. The only downside being that Washington's enormous talents are not utilised by his director to the full. He tends to drift and shows nothing of how the dots are pieced together and so fails to record the full picture of the dramatic end.
This aside, the movie is worth anybody's 129 minutes of free time.

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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
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