W. - A Tangle of Truth and Tragedy
Oliver Stone’s new release “W.” is certainly a unique film, and like other films of his, will likely become a reference point for our time. It is an intertwining of bits and pieces of our current President’s past, from his Yale days to his “fiasco” in Iraq.
What’s particularly notable is how well executed the film is from a Realist perspective, as many of the lines W. delivers in the movie were taken straight from real incidents. More often than not these statements are to his disgrace and/or embarrassment, provided he has the cognitive capacity to comprehend that he said something imbecilic - again - in the first place. Stone simultaneously delivers the image of Bush I believe he intended, and yet absolves himself from political pressure or retaliation by sticking to what he was provided.
At the same time, and more akin to his JFK days than his WTC apology for them, he directs attention to a number of subtleties that begin to outline the true nature of this White House. For instance, Stone demonstrates how W. is constantly guided into positions under what Bush mistakes as his own power and influence. This hits on more reality than one would hope, yet the pattern is inescapable, especially for the commander-in-chief. Naturally, his father is the first to be identified as one of these behind-the-scenes string pullers. Karl Rove, and most certainly Vice President Dick Cheney are also similarly implicated as being men with strings, both to pull and be pulled by.
Coupling these influences with his diagnosable inferiority complex, W. seems driven to execute things merely for the sake of the accomplishment and congratulations he feels is his due. A prime example is the war on Iraq.
Stone may be called an apologist for W., and to some extent this is warranted. There is certainly much more that could have been included that wasnʼt. Stone could be pulling his punches for any number of reasons, but Iʼm guessing that the levels of political intimidation and freakish police-state presence here in the States currently could factor in quite reasonably.
Stone presents us more of a man caught in the trap of his own existence, prone to forces he doesnʼt understand, but nonetheless in the public eye and at the forefront of it all anyway. Itʼs a picture thatʼs sad, really, more than anything else. You leave the theater feeling a tad sympathetic for our tyrant, and would be inclined to feel more so if it werenʼt for his mindless destruction of just about everything in his path.