Friday, November 15, 2013

Wag the Dog ~ so who's the tail and who's the dog?

by: Uel Ceballos

Opening in an idiomatic expression about “tail wagging the dog”, the film had foreshadowed the exploration of manipulation and control that would be pretty much evident on the following scenes. “Wag the Dog” was a black comedy film that sardonically made jests of the serious matters in politics, of which have placed the people involved in the matter of life and death. It starred by two of the greatest actors in Hollywood, Robert De Niro who played as the spin doctor and Dustin Hoffman who did the role of a film producer. The story was focused on the president whom face was never showed in the camera and all the diversion that his team was doing just to distract the public from the sex scandal issue that he had gotten into.

Conrad Brean (De Niro) had to switch the attention of the public in a matter of days before the election day arrive thus he came up with this idea of creating a fake war with Albania and in able to artistically maneuver it as real as it had to appear, he found creative resource from the Hollywood film producer, Stanley Motss (Hoffman). Why did it have to be Albania? What have they done with them? The plain answer was nothing, they have done nothing FOR them and that was Brean’s reason for using Albania for the faked war that he had brewed – such a dark fact that by just doing nothing, your nation could be a subject to someone’s idea of faked war was already worth of wondering.

The film was luxuriantly stuffed with humors – a mind and eye opening farce about what could be the most real drill in the world of media and politics of which majority of the public are unsuspicious and unaware of. De Niro and Hoffman really did a great chemistry here, with Hoffman showing once again his knack for comedy business. I burst laughing my heart out because the dialogues were hard-hitting to the issues being targeted and the deliverances of the main actors were just so perfectly amusing. In able to get the message, you would have to be all ears in their exchanges of conversations, and as a viewer you got to watch, listen and digest all at the same time what were being shown to you by the movie. You got to develop a complete common sense so you could grasp the message that this film was trying to inculcate on you.

The plot was a completely amazing turns of events, from Hoffman gathering his talents, them planning the Act 1 and Act 2, to the music composer complaining ‘bout the difficulties in rhyming Albanian, the big deal issue on whether the talent “Albanian” girl should hold a dog or a cat (they settled on a white Calico cat) while she was trying to escape her smoldering village after the “terrorists” have attacked, up towards to the event that they ended with an insane convict to play as their “hero” of the “war”.

It would be a privilege for the viewers to see the passionate Hollywood producer Motss did his masterpiece, which he considered to be his greatest work ever. Motss even produced music compositions that served poignantly to earn the sympathy of the public and got them immersed on the expected “effect” of war of which the Albania had declared with their country. The use of music, the manipulation of media, the maneuvering of events, the anticipated outcome of events – these were all in the control of the few people who were trying to turn the things upside down and place back the vote favors to the incumbent president of the state.

Now after watching this, things might have somehow changed your way of thinking. The film had demonstrated in one way or another how the people, the masses, were being influenced and (at some certain points) manipulated by the media; and how the people of higher ranks and capacities were taking advantages of it to control the turns and twists of events. You would certainly see the media and the politics at its most deceiving and controlling acts after seeing this full of brain and wits movie. So, better check on this now.