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Thank You for Smoking (2005) movie review

Updated on September 24, 2012
Thank You for Smoking Directed by Jason Reitman
Thank You for Smoking Directed by Jason Reitman

As this Thank You for Smoking movie review will reveal, the film doesn’t intend to take any moral position on smoking but rather seeks to expose the hypocrisy imbued character of politics itself. The movie presents a biting satirical take on the American Tobacco industry and Academy of Tobacco Studies. If you are looking for an honest and a thoroughly entertaining movie - full of wit, comedy, sarcasm and dead pan humor, you must watch or buy Thank You for Smoking.

Facts about Thank You for Smoking, 2005

Director of Thank You for Smoking: Jason Reitman

Cast of Thank You for Smoking: Aaron Eckhart, Cameron Bright and Maria Bello

Genre: Comedy and Drama

Awards: Independent Spirit Award (Best screenplay)

Thank You for Smoking movie Trivia: Surprisingly, despite the theme that the film deals with, no one is shown smoking in the movie Thank You for Smoking, except in the black and white film that Naylor watches at the end.

Reasons why you should watch or buy Thank You for Smoking

Thank You for Smoking is one of the cleverest and the most entertaining films to have come out from the American film industry in the recent times. Amidst the clutter of contrived and frustrating Hollywood comedies, Thank You for Smoking seems like a breath of fresh air. The story revolves around the professional and personal life of Nick Naylor, the chief spokesperson and lobbyist for a thriving and controversy riddled American Tobacco Company and Academy of studies. It is the ethical and moral dubiousness of people engaged in politics in general, irrespective of their stand on tobacco, which the film intends to engage with.

1. Excellent acting which is the highlight of Thank You for Smoking

Most of the conventional comedies suffer from poor, over the top acting and slapstick style exaggerated humor. The acting in Thank You for Smoking is however one of the major highlights of the film. In Thank You for Smoking the flamboyance and the concept of humor is wonderfully portrayed with crisp, eloquent and charismatic acting. The flawless performance by Aaron Eckhart, the actor who plays the lead role of the witty and shrewd Nick Naylor has been touted and pitched by many critics as one of the best Comedy film performances.He literally sinks into the skin of his character and brilliantly shows how his character, despite being a morally flawed lobbyist, manages to present himself as an inspiring hero for his son. It is this straddling between the character’s personal and professional life which allows the actor to experiment, improvise and fuse humor with self-retrospection.

2. Intelligent Comedy in Thank You for Smoking

Unlike the trashy comedies which require the complete shutting down of our cerebral operations, Thank You for Smoking presents an extremely intelligent comedy. The satire is sharp yet subtle and directly addresses the concerns of the morally and ethically corrupt world that we all inhabit and are a part of. As the film charts out the professional and personal dramas of Nick Naylor’s life, the humor is brusquely revealed by tearing off the pretentious facades of honesty, commitment and values. The task for Naylor is to market smoking as something really cool and fight against the anti tobacco lobbies that are hell bent on including the image of skull and bones on cigarette packets. One particularly funny aspect of the story line is fleshed out by Nick Naylor’s close friend circle, which comprises of Polly who works for the Alcohol industry and Bobby Jay who represents the booming Gun business in USA, together their group is called the M.O.D - Merchants of Death in Thank You for Smoking.

3. Open-ended political themes in the movie

As expressed repeatedly in this Thank You for Smoking movie review, the film is imbued with strong political themes. However what sets Thank You for Smoking apart from other politically inclined films is that it does not intend to present any moral or lesson by the end of the film, neither does it seek to espouse a particular ideology or vision. Although the goal is to expose the hypocrisy of politics it refuses to become preachy or self-righteous. Instead it locates the narrative of the cinema itself in this muddled idea of humanity which always has to negotiate between greed, success, morals, ethics and family. It is this naked honesty in Thank You for Smoking that makes the movie so appealing.

4. Family entertainment in Thank You for Smoking

Thank You for Smoking is a film that not only can be observed and analyzed in cinema studies classes but can also be thoroughly enjoyed with your friends and family. Whereas the humor emerges from its caustic political incorrectness, it at the end is a clean comedy that would elicit rolls of laughter and the need for several tubs of popcorns.

5. Powerful and memorable dialogues

The story of Thank You for Smoking demands strong, punchy and eloquent dialogues. This need has been delivered by the film-makers admirably. As Nick Naylor’s character quips, "Michael Jordan plays ball, Manson kills people, and I talk", it is talking and a constant tussle of wits through dialogues and discussions which takes the film ahead. Nick Naylor in Thank You for Smoking is faced with the task to sell the idea of smoking cigarettes by giving talks, lectures and clinching deals and negotiations with political and corporate bigwigs. Dialogues thus become a central aspect of this film. Peppered with a brilliant sense of sarcasm and political incorrectness, the dialogues in Thank You for Smoking will make you wickedly smile in glee.

Thank You for Smoking movie trailer

Buy Thank You for Smoking movie DVD or Amazon Instant Video Online

Roger Ebert’s Thank You for Smoking review

"Here is a satire both savage and elegant, a dagger instead of a shotgun. Thank You for Smoking targets the pro-smoking lobby with a dark appreciation of human nature"

Source: Rotten Tomatoes


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