Thursday, April 17, 2008
Michael Clayton : An honest film
Michael Clayton is definitely not a masterpiece, nor a film that will reside in your mind forever. Since it is over two or three months that i saw it myself I can testify that the images have faded away. Even more the details of the case are easily forgotten. Still Michael Clayton is a film that has good intentions. An interesting script, good acting, honest even if not singular directing. It is a small film that keeps you interested , leaves you satisfied and most important of all does not insult your intelligence.
The hero, George Clooney (now here is an actor and an aspiring director that has managed to gain my respect!) is a lawyer in a big firm called the "fixer". He never goes to court but does all the little dirty jobs that are needed for out of court settlements. His life is a mess. Single father with a brother that gabbles and owns money to the wrong people. He is called in a case where a friend lawyer has suddenly abandoned their client and started helping the adversaries. When his friend is murdered he become entangled in a story with big company interests and he also becomes a target. In the end he manages to entrap the leader of the conspiracy, to turn her over to the police revealing the truth.
Big international companies pray on the poor and the weak in order to gain profit. This is the meaning of the film. If you consider the film as an expose I would say that it not very interesting or shocking as it should be. Most people are already fairly suspicious about big companies. We already know how most of them function and how they buy their way out of trouble. The film though manages to bring something fresh into the topic. Michael Clayton is not a hero that decides one fine day to take up big interests and bid companies and find justice. He is a little man working within this corrupt system. What is interesting here is that this little man that could easily have been bought with a career opportunity rises up to the occasion only when he is cornered and his life is threatened. This is much more realistic and thus interesting than an idealistic hero that fears no consequences and rushes on only in order to get to the truth for the greater good. Still this little man which has no respect from others and he feels no pride for himself manages to pull up a scheme and get the truth and justice. Even if he only does it to protect himself he finds a dignity in the process because that he realizes that he can bed only so far, that there is a limit that he will not cross. Michael Clayton is a common man and function as a regular man would do. He acts heroically when he can do nothing else. This is what makes the film an honest effort and a film with its own even small value.
Comment1: Many films have been done on the same subject. Three examples Erin Brochovits, Syrianna, and my personal favorite Constant Gardener
Comment2: Once more I am in a position where I have to apologize for neglecting my blog . I will try to make amends. Thanks for your patience