Monday, November 2, 2009

'State of Play' A review

State of Play is a classic political thriller, Woodward-and-Bernstein-style, of an investigation into government-corporate shenanigans. Cal (Russel Crowe) is a crusty, traditional, senior reporter and Bella (Rachel McAdams) is the new kid who writes a blog for the paper. On the whole well filmed, with good dialogue and a quick pace. Helen Mirren has a great supporting role as an editor and I also think helicopters have become a modern visual symbol for "the-powers-that-be." Because it's a political thriller about sinister military-industrial complex there were several unrelated shots of helicopters hovering menacingly or floating like large black steel wasps above the city. They sometimes do that at Ridley but that's another story for another post. State of Play is also about the struggle between old and new media represented by Cal and Bella as they follow leads and chase the story. Nowadays we hear lots about online networks and the importance of cyberspace. True, but State of Play also brought out the importance of human contacts, eyeballing someone and meeting people in physical locations. I think it's important to realize our networks and day to day activity are a mix of human and cyber. Intriguingly in Sate of Play, the old media wins and the story is broken on the front page of the newspaper and not Bella's blog.