Our Brand is Crisis: How Politics Really Work
Our Brand is Crisis
Our Brand is Crisis DVD
Based on the 2005 eponymous documentary film by Rachel Boynton, this comedic account relates a fictionalized version of the involvement of American political campaign strategist James Carville in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election. That documentary was a cautionary tale that paralleled how U.S. politics ran, only it took place in Bolivia, and dealt with how the political consultant group, of Greenberg Carville Shrum (GCS) was hired to help elect Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada President of Bolivia. As stated, the 2015 film that grew out of the ‘05 documentary took a comedic approach to the very real events of the ‘02 Bolivian election.
Our Brand is Crisis
Based on Real Life
The story of the film is that in 2002, a Bolivian politician Pedro Gallo (Almeida) hires a U.S. political consultant group to help him win the presidential election, that group brings in Jane Bodine (Bullock) to manage the campaign. Once Bodine arrives in Bolivia she discovers that she will actually be battling her (U.S.) arch nemesis, Pat Candy (Thornton), who is leading the opposition’s political consultation team. For her part, Bodine retired (in disgrace over a major faux pas during a campaign she was running), and was very happy to leave the field of political discourse alone. However, she allows herself to be talked into returning to the life by Ben (Mackie) and Nell (Down). Upon arriving in Bolivia Bodine is slow to take up the reigns of the campaign, at first allowing herself to be cowed by the presence of Candy.
However, as she gets more and more back into step with the challenge of getting Gallo elected, Bodine successfully begins using standard American political campaign strategies to influence the process as she leads Gallo to victory against his rival Victor Rivera (Louis Arcella). Before long both Bodine and Candy are once again going head-to-head as they ply the political (dirty) tricks American politics utilizing whatever is in their bag of options so as to out maneuver their opponent. Now while the film does in fact get caught up in its own attempt to make light of the political process (relying heavily upon the fact that this is a foreign country not entirely used to the way we conduct politics her in the U.S.), and thus loses focus.
Addressing the Troops
Flawed, but Worth Watching
Still, in spite of its — very obvious — flaws, the film is not without a certain amount of charm, especially as it does actually expose some of the raw underbelly of how the American political process works, and is at least worth watching so as how to get a better understanding of the process for those interested.
Keaton & Davis
Another story based on Real Life
As a complete aside to this film; back in 1994, Michael Keaton and Geena Davis played versions of Carville and his real life wife Mary Matalin in Speechless a (once again fictionalized, and highly entertaining) RomCom of how Carville and Matalin — a pair of ideological opposed political consultants —met and fell in love.
© 2016 Robert J Sodaro