In the Loop


If you are at all even mildly interested in politics, you must see this film. Regardless of your political orientation you are liable to enjoy this. The only possible exemption is if you’re a diplomatic idealist, in which case there may be too much swearing and running about talking on cellphones for your liking.

Basically it’s about a bunch of politicians and their associated hangers-on who don’t know if they are supposed to go to war in an unnamed country in the middle east. Sound familiar? It’s almost as though they’re waiting to be told what to think, only, they’re the politicians and they’re supposed to be telling everyone else what to think.

The film is perfectly cast. Tom Hollander (who plays a pompous git in Pirates of the Caribbean, and who plays Mr Collins in the Kiera Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice) once again plays the bumbling fool.

A junior cabinet minister who gets in heaps of trouble when he says that “war is not unforeseeable, but it is also not… foreseeable”.

This means the spin doctor gets called in; the angry Scottish spin doctor Malcolm Tucker – played by Peter Capaldi. His character was lifted from the TV series The Thick of It, which I haven’t actually seen, but am trying to source on DVD.

Boy does this guy have a mouth. There’s probably not a single line of dialogue in the film that he doesn’t season with a swear word or a death threat.

When I first saw this film I missed half of the jokes because I was literally bent over laughing at the ones that had come a moment earlier. This film rips into everyone, the military, the Americans, electorate constituents, the UN, the Japanese (briefly), fat people, just everyone. But it’s not crass, it’s not South Park or Bruno humour. It’s intellectual.

I’ve been quoting it for the last two months. You will too.

Oh, and do yourself a favour – try and see it in the cinema. One of the most satisfying feelings in the world is being in a cinema where everyone is roaring out loud with laughter. It just makes for a better experience.


in the loop

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