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The bare reality of U.S. politics shown in the story of Dick Cheney

The bare reality of U.S. politics shown in the story of Dick Cheney

Posted April. 01, 2019 08:52,   

Updated April. 02, 2019 10:29


“A vice president is just a puppet who waits for the president to die.” As Lynne Cheney (Amy Adams) – the wife of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) - puts it, we all have thought this way. However, the film “Vice” will change your opinion. The movie describes former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney wielding greater power than the then president.

Film director Adam McKay revealed the illusions over the U.S. economy by depicting the unknowns of the financial crisis that shook up the world in “Big Shot” (2016) where the director compares the U.S. financial field as giant bubbles, referring to it as a scam. Meanwhile, the film shows the embarrassing realities of the heartland of U.S. politics by shedding light on Cheney’s story. It is a black comedy film where the ghostly figure Cheney who looks out to snatch a chance in times of confusion and power-blinded people around him feel numb when they make decisions that would bring about sea change to the lives of the ordinary.

The film describes Cheney and his followers giving tax cuts to the rich, colliding with oil conglomerates and disregarding the Constitution and international conventions to invade in Iraq in retaliation for the September 11 terrorist attack. It is an impressive scene where influential U.S. political leaders who then led the country such as Secretary Collin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice are aware that something goes wrong but they feel overwhelmed by Cheney’s firm and low-pitched voice.

The director raised levels of sarcasm and humor by a notch. Accepting an offer for the position of vice president, Cheney reaches a deal with George W. Bush (starred by Sam Rockwell). The scene is cross-edited with another scene of Cheney fishing in Wyoming to make Bush more foolish when he takes Cheney’s bait. Although there is no assumption in history, the film answers a question “what if Dick Cheney had retired for his daughter who is homosexual?” by inserting a peaceful background music with an ending credit in the middle.

Seo-Hyun Lee baltika7@donga.com