Movie Review – Roger and Me

Posted: June 16, 2013 in Cricket
Tags: ,

This is how charming a film can get. This film is not a regular LOL type but still evokes laughter. It is one of those films you sit your friend and watch with you laughing for a scene and he laughing for another. When your mom comes and watches you both watching she laughs for none. That’s the type of comedy this film has.

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The films protagonist or the one who comes into the picture just like that, Yes Michael Moore didn’t initially intend to be in the picture. While shooting a scene he accidentally came within the frame. He couldn’t re shoot it because they didn’t have a definite script so from then he decided to be part of the movie. This being a documentary they shot everything which came to their mind.

The film’s opening doesn’t give you a serious feel. It more or less starts like a mockumentary film, made famous by Woody Allen’s Zelig. Till the end I wasn’t really sure whether it really was a documentary. I couldn’t come to a conclusion till the end, thanks to the way the film was handled. From the first where it starts with black and white flashback of Moore’s past till the last line in end credit where  “This film cannot be shown within the city of Flint”, followed by “All the movie theatres have closed,”  is shown, there is that incessant charm. I’m happy that my policy of watching the movie till the end of end credits paid of finally.

The film follows Michael Moore’s adventures of following General Motors Chairman Roger B. Smith by posing as a director of short film. He wants to ask him why he laid off 30,000 people when the company is reaping profits. He more or less interviews every person he comes across. Right from the security there at the headquarters to Grosse Point Yacht Club to Detroit Athletic Club. It’s funny when they reply once in a while seeing the camera. That’s how they were taken by surprise.

He doesn’t stop with that he also interviews people who were directly and indirectly affected by the layoff and the celebrities including Ronald Reagan and Miss Michigan. The good thing he does is he interviews more people who disagree with him. The more he prods the tougher situation they are put into. After a point they don’t answer. It’s clearly evident while he interviews Miss Michigan. When he asks about the layoffs she becomes skeptical and talks rubbish but right when he asks about how the day was she gives him nice happy reply in typical fashionistas fashion.

He then interviews residents out there who are affected by layoffs. A resident who sells Rabbits for “pets or meat.” She kills the rabbit and dresses it in a scene which is supposed to be gross but I found out funny. This is what I mentioned. A scene funny for you might not be funny for others.

 Michael Moore’s naivetés forms as a core strength for the film. Though letharginess is not accepted when it comes to acting but I love on screen lethargy. This role could have been done by Philip Seymour Hoffman if made into a film. He would have acted brilliantly and Moore and Hoffman look somewhat alike. But the plus here was Moore didn’t act. He was himself in the movie.

The highest laugh in theatre he said came while he was made to sit in a chair and asked to choose the color of the cloth. The scenes where he goes and presses 14th floor and the visit to GM’s plant during the climax are equally funny.

Many people had asked him how everyone answered his questions without shoving him off. His reply was, “I didn’t know they just answered. May be because they wanted to be in T.V, in cinema or so” (sic)
He just didn’t make the film and leave it. He had nothing to lose so when Warner bros wanted to sign a deal of the film he made certain conditions. He wanted people in Flint to make a tour with this movie and spread message, he wanted the people who got laid off to watch the movie without paying for the tickets and a few more. The company agreed for everything and this movie got screened in 800 screens. Quite a large number for a documentary.That too by a new comer.

The Jingle bell song towards the end by singing dogs is just the icing on the cake.

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