Our Brand Is Crisis: Film Review – Killing `Calamity` With Crisis!

Verdict: Political campaigning has never been so entertaining.

"If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal." – Jane Bodine

Our Brand Is Crisis is an entertaining depiction of the cutthroat political campaigning that took place in the 2002 Bolivian elections. Sandra Bullock‘s captivating performance is not only a bold reflection of the film as a whole, but also an inspiring one. The film with a run time of 128 minutes is filled with fierce political comedy, boisterous comments, dirty and often, cruel political tricks and challenging relationships between the characters. 

It opens with an odd montage portraying the history of "Calamity" Jane Bodine (Sandra Bullock), intercut with shots of her hands molding clay on a potter’s wheel. After a traumatizing career as a political campaign consultant, the emotionally damaged Jane is lured out by an old colleague, Nell (Ann Dowd), and idealist Ben (Anthony Mackie), to convince Bolivians to elect Castillo (Joaquim de Almeida), an arrogant, hardened, cigar-smoking man as their President. A constant motivational factor for Jane is the challenge to defeat a nemesis from her traumatic past, Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton). The real chunks of daring political comedy and sarcasm are found in the underhand tricks played by strategists, Jane and Pat, on one another.

Some of the other characters that add to the essence of the film are Eduardo (Reynaldo Pacheco), a young innocent volunteer and faithful supporter of the President, Buckley (Scoot McNairy), an over-confident and over-pompous campaign team member and LeBlanc (Zoe Kazan), an ace good at digging up dirt on politicians. 

The film is driven primarily by Sandra Bullock. Her captivating and confident performance constitutes the essence of the film. Inspired by Sun-Tzu and other ideologists, her character is strong, persistent, dominating, competitive and highly motivating, keeping the audience at the edge of their seats, wondering what her next move will be. The sudden shifts from excitement to depression in her character lead to not-so-clear transitions through the film.

Directed by David Gordon Green, this film is a true depiction of the real-time political marketing tricks used  in the United States elections. Although depicted in a chaotic manner, Sandra Bullock’s bold acting coupled with episodes of sarcastic comedy makes it a real entertainer.

Why You Should Watch This Movie:

Our Brand Is Crisis will inspire you with dialogues like, "If you don’t like the road you’re on, start paving another one", by Sandra Bullock’s character. It is an entertaining and humorous portrayal of the political tactics undertaken during an election, and the extremes to which politicians will go to win it. 

– By Mrinal Masand

Release Date: 08 Jan 2016
Language: English
Director: David Gordon Green
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Cast & Crew: Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, Joaquim de Almeida
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