Bulworth: A Political Film Critique

Essay by laurenmlbcCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 2008

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Title: BulworthRelease Year: 1998Release Country: United StatesStudio/Production Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film CorporationDirector: Warren BeattyCast (majors): Warren Beatty, Sean Astin, Christina Baranski, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Oliver Pratt, Jack Warden, Isaiah Washington, Paul Sorvino and Laurie MetcalfRunning Time: 108 minutesRating: RBulworth, a 1998 Academy Award-nominated film, is about Senator Jay Bulworth running for re-election. He is facing financial ruin, so he decides to take a contract out on his own life in order to collect a new, large insurance policy for his daughter. As he believes he is living on borrowed time, he begins to spew out crude, unfiltered thoughts to shock audiences and people involved in the speech of hip-hip music and culture (i.e. rap). At times he is rather offensive, but satirical and enlightening in spirit, and his newfound boldness and affair with Nina carry him on his path for discovering who he truly is.

Memorable scenes to talk about: comments to the AA church, comments to the supposedly Jewish movie produces, comments about corporations controlling the American political systems and all the comments depicting Democrats and Republicans as being just as bad as the other.

Nina's comments on why there are no black leaders anymore, as does L.D. in justifying using children in his drug-dealing business, which Bulworth later repeats verbatim on CNN.

The movie is overtly political and satirical in the sense of showing the hypocrisy of the governments and the special groups it associates itself with. It highlights how most groups in power are out for themselves and fail to really look out for the little people. It has a rather liberal bias, which seems to be normal for Warren Beatty. The movie provokes a lot of political and sociological thoughts in scenes like towards the beginning when Bulworth is giving his...