Vantage point

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Thank You For Smoking

When I heard of this film, I expected it to be tobacco's equivalent of An Inconvenient Truth. But it turned out to be completely non-preachy, and absolutely entertaining. It is one of the best movies to come out this year and is definite Oscar nominee material. In fact I would say it is a shoe-in for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Based on the Christopher Buckley best-seller, the film is about Nick Naylor(Aaron Eckhart), chief spokesman for Big Tobacco. In his own words, "Michael Jordan plays ball. Charles Manson kills people. I talk. Everyone has a talent." Throughout the movie, Naylor practices and preaches his talent. He practises it on adversaries, executives, politicians, a hot reporter(or so it seems), and he preaches it to his son. Along the way is a collection of some hilarious dialogues and copious irony. A few -

Joey Naylor: Dad, why is the American government the best government?
Nick Naylor: Because of our endless appeals system.

Nick Naylor: Right there, looking into Joey's eyes, it all came back in a rush. Why I do what I do. Defending the defenseless, protecting the disenfranchised corporations that have been abandoned by their very own consumers: the logger, the sweatshop foreman, the oil driller, the land mine developer, the baby seal poacher ...
Polly Bailey: Baby seal poacher?
Bobby Jay Bliss: Even *I* think that's kind of cruel.

(after a man calls in on Dennis Miller's show and threatens to kill Nick)
Dennis Miller: Now we'll take a break to fire the call screener.

Jeff Megall: Sony has a futuristic sci-fi movie they're looking to make.
Nick Naylor: Cigarettes in space?
Jeff Megall: It's the final frontier, Nick.
Nick Naylor: But wouldn't they blow up in an all oxygen environment?
Jeff Megall: Probably. But it's an easy fix. One line of dialogue. 'Thank God we invented the... you know, whatever device.'

Watch it!