Sunday, July 07, 2013

State of Play

Rating : 7/10
Release Date : April, 2009
Time : 127 minutes
Director : Kevin Macdonald; Writers : Matthew Michael Carnahan, Tony Gilroy, Billy Ray (based on Television series of same name by Paul Abbott); Music : Alex Heffes
Starring : Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright, Jason Bateman, Jeff Daniels

A lady working for Ben Affleck, a US Congressman, dies. Her death either an accident or suicide or murder. With her death, some secrets also tumble out. Like the fact that Ben Affleck, a married man, was having an affair with her. And this can seriously hamper his investigation into a giant security firm as part of a congressional hearing. The only person he may have on his side is Russell Crowe, a reporter for a big newspaper, also a former room-mate of his, even though relations with him have soured a bit since he (Russell) slept with Robin Wright, Ben’s wife. Russell and Rachel McAdams, a new reporter, who handles the digital side of things, try to unravel what is really going on…and the secrets just don’t stop coming

What makes this really interesting is how true it all sounds, as we observe the wars that USA engages resulting in huge profits to security firms, defense contractors, re-building firms etc. Another side-plot is the old school reporter, Russell Crowe, pairing up with the younger, more digital savvy rookie, Rachel (she writes blogs!) while both report to the arse-chewing chief editor, Helen Mirren. The tension is built up well and the obligatory twists (and bodies) keep getting thrown at you, succeeding in keeping your attention till the last frame. Worth a watch for the plot and the performances…

PS : This is based on a BBC mini-series of the same name and those who’ve seen both (I haven’t) say its not a patch on the original, though given the difference in lengths, I wouldn’t be surprised.

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