Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington - Movie Review

What a wonderful movie! Made in 1939, its a look at politics in the USA (or anywhere for that matter) and how a young, honest boy ranger faces up to the big bad wolves successfully. Simple story but big in its sweep, Mr. Smith could very well be true of politics even today.

The movie begins with a bang. Senator has died and a replacement has to be sent. After much thinking and seesawing between two controversial candidates, the governor decides in favour of a young boy ranger Jefferson Smith. Rookie Smith goes to Washington under the political patronage of Senator Paine but soon shows up what idealism of the youth can do. With the help of his assistant he puts up a plan for a boy ranger park to be funded by boys across America. Unfortunately the site he has chosen has already been chosen by the political bigwigs including Senator Paine. Na├»ve and innocent Smith fights all alone (helped by his assistant Saunders), holding the floor by talking continuously and not sitting down for almost 24 hours and against all odds somehow manages to tilt the balance of conscience in the end.

I loved it. You can make this movie anytime anywhere and it would still hold good. Graft, dams, public money, political bigwigs. But for a direct look into the working of the senate, the government, the politics involved, Mr. Smith gets a huge thumbs up from me. James Stewart and Jean Arthur star in this movie supported by a whole lot of highly talented actors.

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